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"AP" - Artist Proof or E.A.

Artist’s Proofs are often marked ‘A.P’ or the French version ‘E.A’ (or E. d’A meaning ‘épreuve d'artiste’). Approximately ten percent of a print run are assigned as Artist Proofs. These prints are usually kept by the artist as a record of the print’s progression, but can also be released to market.
While there is no clear correlation between a print’s value and its status as an AP, some collectors relish APs because they are tied to an artist’s personal collection.

"HC" - Hors d'Commerce

If a print is signed Hors d’Commerce or HC, it means this print was destined for promotional use. That is, it was intended as a sample for galleries or dealers. Again, there’s no explicit advantage to seeking out a HC proof, except if you are interested in the object’s ‘journey’.


General term for a grouping or classification of any grade of artwork, whether it be prints, reproductions, posters, books, etc.


A photograph made by creating a direct positive on a thin sheet of metal, colloquially called 'tin', coated with a dark lacquer or enamel and used as the support for the photographic emulsion.

Gelatin Silver Print

A gelatin silver print refers to prints made on paper having silver chloride emulsion. Most contemporary black and white photographs are gelatin silver prints.

Giclee Print

A French word for “a spraying of ink,” originally referred to prints made on Iris inkjet printers. The term is used for prints made on fine, sometimes handcrafted, watercolor paper.

Inkjet Print

An inkjet print is created from a digital image file. Both Iris and Giclee prints are examples of high-quality inkjet applications.

Mount, Corner

The process of attaching a photograph to a mount board using corner “sheaths” which are adhered to the mount. The photograph is not permanently affixed, and the tips of the photograph slide into the corners. Usually the overmat covers the corners, and the artist may sign the overmat and/or the photograph edge.

Mount, Dry

Process of adhering a photograph to a mount board using a heat-sensitive paper. Most photographers use an archival dry mount tissue.


Photogravure combines the detail and intensity of photography with the painterly quality of lithography. While the photogravure print and the photograph share certain qualities, the photogravure print is fundamentally different because it is a vector-based image, i.e. it is comprised of thousands of tiny lines, rather than pixel- or dot-based, like a photograph. The photogravure technique begins with an original photograph. A transparency is made on glass from the negative of the original photograph. Through chemical processes, the transparency is transferred to and eventually etched into a copper engraving plate. Thus the original photographic image is etched into the plate. Finally, as in the other intaglio processes, the plate is inked, paper is laid on top and then pressed.

Planographic Printing

Planographic printing refers to those printing methods in which the ink of the final print lies flat on the paper, not raised or impressed. The principle planographic printing techniques are lithography, screen printing, digital printing, cliché verre, monotypes/prints and pochoir.


Artists typically use a rubber stamp to identify themselves as the artist, sometimes their contact information, and that the image is copyrighted. The title and specific identification, like a gallery inventory number, is usually handwritten.


Art term for the front side of the photograph.


Art term for the back side of the photograph.


A photograph printed within a very few years of the date when the negative was made.

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