L/E Print valuations


SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Jun 11, 2004
Edwardsburg, MI
Does anyone know of a service available for getting valuations on valuable limited edition prints? Maybe something similar to AskArt which is a subscription service for auction records of American artist work.

On another note...I have a watercolor in-house by a J. Mourhouse or J. Moorhouse...probably European and probably passed away from the looks of the age of the watercolor. The signature on the watercolor has the J. superimposed over the M in the last name. The subject is a ship sinking on the rocks in the background while two wooden life boats ferry the survivors to safety in turbulent waters. A rather nice watercolor for which my client asked for an insurance evaluation. Since I've found nothing on this artist with all my resources I'm asking if anyone is familiar with him/her.

Thanks for any help my fellow grumblers may offer.

Dave Makielski
I use a book published by Inform Art Magazine. It lists the works by artist and gives the size of the piece, edition size, and the high and low prices for the previous year. Website: www.informartmag.com.

Can't help with the Moorhouse piece though.

Good luck!
When I was active in the LE print retail end, I subscribed to the Art Expeditor, the same company that puts out Informart, I think. If you want a realistic value on prints as they are sold in the wholesale market the Expeditor is an accurate measure as the prints listed there are at actual selling price by the galleries that list and not a supposition of their value by the artist or publishing company.

There was a large disparity between the price listings in the Art Expeditor and IncormArt at one time and this was due to the feedback from many of the publishers on what they "thought" the prints were worth on the open secondary market. The prices in the Art Expeditor are the actual selling prices for the prints that were listed for sale there by the member galleries.

Art Expeditor is Wholesale to the trade, InformArt is published by the same company and is available to anybody and their prices they list are retail and calculated at twice wholesale from Art Expeditor. Art Expeditor lists prices low to high depending on which dealer is willing to sell it for. These two publications are probably the best for the estimated value of a LE print. Art is only worth what somebody is willing to pay for it. A certified Art Appraiser is the best way to get a value on the moorehouse.
That's not always the case, Jerry. I used AE for about 8 years and found that, as certain prints gained momentum on the secondary art market, the prices asked for in AE were very close to the actual retail selling price for the prints

Case in point, "Pintos" by Doolittle, that print was as high as $16,577 in AE back in the early and mid-90's and it sure wasn't worth over $33,000 to most Doolittle collectors. The same applies to some of Redlin's early prints such as the "Retreat" series and "Evening with Friends" which were selling through the AE at premium prices when their popularity hit their peaks.

I agree that issue prints were generally listed at somewhere below retail issue price and many never went above that level but the pricing through AE is strictly driven by supply and demand and when the supply is short ie., collectors are sitting on certain prints and the galleries/ retailers are out of them, the price takes a leap.

I bought and sold many hundreds of prints through AE and I found that it was much like speculating on the stock market with certain artists/prints. But, the question related to finding a realistic value for prints and I can't think of any other easily available source that would be more realistic in its pricing values than Art Expeditor or InformArt. the prices listed are actual selling prices and not speculation of what the price should or may be in the future. Sure, some of the prices are inflated by the sellers but most are controlled by other sellers having the same print for sale in a reasonable price bracket.

I'm bumping this topic because I too need to value some prints. We recently got in a number of items from my father-in-law's estate and we need to know how to price them. We had them appraised nine years ago (for insurance purposes) and we'd just like some general idea of how their current value compares.

I checked out informartmag.com, but they don't seem to have ANY entries for the artists in question (Chagall, Miro, Rauschenberg, etc). In fact, I hardly see ANY "big name" artists in their lists (There is exactly ONE Normal Rockwell print listed).

So: any ideas as to other resources for pricing L/E prints?