Original Limited Edition Serigraphs
An original print is a work of art created by hand and printed by hand, either by the artist or by a professional assistant (often called an artisan), from a plate, block, stone, or stencil (silk screen) that has been hand created by the artist for the sole purpose of producing the desired image.
Original prints are traditionally signed in pencil by the artist. They are numbered to indicate how many prints there are in the edition and to identify the individual print. This number appears written as a fraction, for example: 34 / 50. This is called the edition number. The number to the right of the slash (in this example, 50) indicates the size of the edition: 50 prints have been produced. The number to the left as in Etching & Lithography is the actual number of the print. This number is read: "print number thirty four of fifty".
The numbering system for Silk Screen differs in that the top number is the number of screens (colors) used to produce the print over the edition number; how many were printed. (Example 30/50)
All Bittner prints are Original Limited Editions.
Many print collectors are confused by the terms "original print" and "limited edition print". The two are not synonymous. The term "original print" is a specific term; "limited edition" is a general term. An original print is almost always a limited edition print simply because the edition is limited to the actual number of prints. J.Neil uses the suicide method of printing where each stencil is destroyed after the run, making it a true limited edition.
But a limited edition print may or may not be an original work of art. It might be just a photo-mechanical reproduction of a painting, photograph, drawing, etc., in other words no more than a poster. The edition may be limited to an arbitrary number of 500, 1000, often more, and is sometimes even signed in pencil by the artist. It is not, however, actually printed by the artist.
The term "limited edition" is vague. When purchasing a work of art where you want to hopefully increase the value, it's a good idea to know whether or not you're buying the real thing, if you truly want the "real thing". There is a reason for reproductions and posters in the print collectors' market; a reproduction or poster sells for hundreds or even thousands of dollars less than an original work by the same artist.