Collecting has been described as an addiction for which there
is no known cure. So far as we know, it isn't terminal, but if we
are wrong, we can't think of many better ways to go! Collecting
can certainly become a passion, and why not! It is fascinating,
absorbing, lots of fun and, depending on what you collect, often
quite profitable too.
Collecting usually starts with a hobby interest, and develops
from there. The collector of aviation art isn't necessarily a pilot,
in fact few ever are, but what we all have in common is huge enthusiasm
for those magnificent flying machines, a thirst for knowledge about
them, and an admiration for those who flown them to their limits.
We simply love to look at airplanes.
Unlike many things people collect, aviation art can easily be
displayed at home and in our places of work, for our own personal
enjoyment, and for others to admire and appreciate. Art makes a
subtle, modest statement about ourselves and our interests; a common
interest in art breaks down social barriers, stimulates conversation,
and more often than not helps us widen our circle of friends.
Much of the fun of collecting art is the searching and researching,
gathering knowledge about art and artists, hunting down that special
piece, getting together a meaningful collection, perhaps a complete
collection, specialising, owning, displaying, building, refining,
while all the time enjoying. Collectors have fun! Few collect for
profit or investment, yet collections often become valuable. It
is said that collectors collect, and wait for the rest of the world
to catch up with them.
The more you know and understand about collecting aviation art,
the more pleasure your personal collection will give you. The aim
of these notes is to help you in that direction. We at the Military
Gallery have been dedicated to the aviation art movement over 25
years thats a decade or more than almost anyone else. If, through
passing on information about our fascinating world of collecting
aviation art, we help you gain more pleasure from your hobby, then
we're happy too.
SOME DEFINITIONS WHICH
APPLY TO PRINTS PUBLISHED BY THE MILITARY GALLERY:
An edition issued without limit, individual number, or artists
signature. Most, however, have been signed by one or more pilot
or crew who flew the type of aircraft depicted in the painting.
Artist Signed Print:
Originally issued as an Open edition, a publicly stated quantity
of which were later inscribed with artist's signature, and the printing
plates destroyed. Again, most carry pilots signatures.
Limited edition print:
An edition of identical prints, numbered sequentially and individually
signed by the artist, having a stated limit to the quantity in the
edition. Following publication the printing plates are destroyed.
Almost all Military Gallery editions are authenticated with the
original signatures of distinguished military personnel.
An old tradition of reserving a quantity of prints for the artist's
use, usually equal to about 10 % of the edition. In the early days
of printing, these prints were the only remuneration the poor artist
received. Proofs are signed by the artist and numbered showing the
quantity of Artist's Proofs issued in the edition. Because of their
highly restricted number, Artist's Proofs are sold at a higher value
than the regular prints in the edition.
A quantity of prints, not always announced or issued at the time
of publication, usually equal to no more than 10% of the edition.
These are reserved for the publisher's use, mostly for donation
to Museums, Service establishments, Service Associations, and the
like. Quantities of Publishers Proofs, sometimes issued with a supplementary
print, may be made available to collectors either at the time of
publication, or at a later date, depending upon availability.
A print issued with an original pencil drawing by the artist
in the margin, each numbered out of the quantity of individually
remarqued prints in the edition. The quantity of remarqued prints
in any one edition generally is between 25 and 50. Each remarque
drawing made by the artist is slightly different, thus making each
print totally unique. Remarqued prints may be available at the time
of publication, or announced at a later date, depending upon the
artist's work load at the time. An artist remarqued print is the
ultimate collector item in terms of reproduced work.
An additional print, usually issued with smaller dimensions, published
to compliment a limited edition, and usually issued at the same
Matted (or mounted) print:
A print fitted into an acid-free or conservation matt (or mount),
ready for framing.
An original work individually drawn by the artist, completed in
pencil, ink, or other medium, and personally signed by the artist.
Being an original work each drawing is unique and different.
Certificate of Authenticity:
A certificate issued by the publisher stating the total quantity
of prints issued in the edition, confirming authenticity of the
signatures, and in the case of a limited edition, inscribed with
the matching unique number inscribed on the individual print. Collectors
are advised to keep certificates safely as a future means of provenance.
A market, largely operated by retail galleries, where limited
edition prints are bought and sold by collectors after the edition
is sold out at the publisher. Generally prints offered for sale
on the secondary market are at values above the original published
price. Prices are governed by supply and demand on the open market,
and are not set by the publisher. Prints in strong demand can change
hands at many times the original published price. Only a very small
number of aviation artists command a secondary market for their
prints. Robert Taylor and Nicolas Trudgian are at the forefront
of the aviation art secondary market.
Where a print is shown as "sold out" in the Military Gallery Archive,
or price list, this means sold-out at the Publisher. "Sold-out"
prints are sometimes available from galleries at the original publisher's
price, depending upon the length of time elapsed following publication.
Prints in strong demand often appear on the secondary market at
increased prices quite quickly after becoming sold out at the publisher.
All paper used in publication of Military Gallery prints is specially
treated to neutralise its natural acidity. This protects prints
from discoloration and deterioration.
CARE AND PROTECTION OF FINE ART
Limited edition prints by leading artists usually maintain their
initial published value, and of course many increase in worth, so
it is important to care for them appropriately.
The best quality art deserves the best quality materials when
it comes to reproduction, which is why the Military Gallery uses
a heavy-weight fine art quality acid-free paper, specially imported
from France. Costing almost twice as much as most papers used for
limited edition printing, this superb quality paper enables the
finest possible standard of reproduction. In addition, the Military
Gallery specifies only the best quality fade-resistant inks available
for the printing process, and advises collectors to avoid hanging
prints in direct, or strongly reflected sunlight.
When handling prints collectors are advised to take care to avoid
bending or kinking the paper. The less handling the better between
leaving the publisher and having the print framed. Care should also
be taken to use acid-free or conservation materials when framing,
and collectors are advised always to use qualified professional
picture framers to ensure their prints are mounted properly.
PRINT STORAGE AND CONSERVATION
Many collectors have more prints than they can display at any
one time, keeping part of their collection in storage. When storing
prints we recommend laying them flat inside stiff cardboard outer
packaging so as to avoid any bending. Separate individual prints
using acid free card or tissue paper, or other acid-free materials
all usually available from good art materials shops. Ideally prints
should be stored at comfortable room temperature, avoiding high
humidity, or large changes in temperature.
Recently a collector called us from Canada. He has been a Robert
Taylor collector over 10 years, and was pleasantly shocked to discover
his print portfolio was valued at over ,000. He carried no insurance
at the time, but he does now! Collectors are advised to obtain valuations
from time to time, and to make sure their collections are adequately
insured. The best people to value your collection is the retailer
who supplied the prints in the first place. Most insurance companies
will insure art, but may ask for a written valuation.
For all enquiries concerning Licensing of images for Book Jackets,
Calendars, collector plates, posters, jigsaw puzzles, etc, please
click Contact Us on the Menu bar at the top of the home page.
The copyrights to all images on the Military Gallery website are
jointly owned by the artists and the Military Gallery. Reproduction
of any image, via any media, for any purpose, without written permission
of the copyright holders will constitute an infringement of copyright
which will be vigorously pursued by the copyright holders. It should
be noted that the purchaser of an original painting or drawing does
not acquire the copyright to that piece of art. Copyright always
remains the property of the copyright holder unless transferred
via a formal bill of sale.