Pick the right prints and you could lead a charming life


Pick the right prints and you could lead a charming life

Prints are seen as a poor man’s entry into the art market, but if you come by the real deal you could make a fortune

Colin Gleadell

Sir James Dyson, Britain’s richest man, has announced plans to open a gallery next year on his estate at Dodington Park in the Cotswolds to show art from his collection. I was expecting to be impressed, but one of the works mentioned — American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein’s comic strip-style Crying Girl from 1963 — made me gulp.

If that were a painting (it was described simply as “a pioneering work”) it would be worth $100m (about R1,68bn) and definitely worth travelling to gawp at. But when I looked it up, I discovered there were no Lichtenstein paintings of that description, only a printed lithograph.

Prints, mostly made in editions, are often thought of as a poor man’s entry point into the art market, which can be true. But some can fetch a mint, so much so that fakes, in the form of ever more ingenious photomechanical reproductions with false signatures, litter the market...

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