Re: Editioning ... and Unique Works of Art

From: Tom Ferguson ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 07/10/04-09:03:09 AM Z
Message-id: <>

This system isn't rare, and is used in two forms.

In the more general form, called "edition pricing" by most galleries,
the artist still limits the total number of prints. I use this form of
pricing, so my 11x14 platinum prints are limited to 25, the first 5 are
$450US, then next 5 (6th - 10th sold) are $550US, the next 5 (#11th -
15th sold) are $650US, the next 5 (16th - 20th sold) are $750US, and
the last 5 (21st - 25th sold) are $900US (double the starting price).
Note two things, the prices are "even numbers" not following exact
mathmatical equations (I tried that, the galleries hate selling
something for $635, they are much happier with $650) and the term
"sold" is used over and over. It isn't the number on the mat that
determines the price, if print #2 goes to a slow selling gallery and
every other print sells before it does, that print (#2) is priced at
the last tier (21st - 25th sold are $900). Many photographers use this
system, Michael Kenna is an example.

The second, less common, version of this work exactly the same, but an
uneditioned print (no maximum). I believe that Dan Burkholder does
this. If I were to do this, when I got to my 25th print (at $900), I
could continue (as I had marked the prints #25, not 25/25) and sell the
next five prints (26th - 30th sold) for $1050 and the nest 5 prints
(31st - 35th sold) for $1250 and the next 5 prints (36th - 40th) for
$1500 and the next 5 prints (41st - 45th sold) for $1800. You can see
how this is, as Ryuji says "softer and more satisfying compromise
between collectors' desire and photographers' intention". Not too many
folks will pay $1800 for a print from a photographer who sells mostly
$450 prints! "Softer" self limits.

Last thought, you would have to talk the galleries into this system.
I'm not sure how receptive they are to it. Dan is the only photographer
I've bought that uses it and Kate mentioned Fay Godwin.

On Friday, July 9, 2004, at 04:39 PM, Ryuji Suzuki wrote:

> From: Kate M <>
> Subject: RE: Editioning ... and Unique Works of Art
> Date: Fri, 09 Jul 2004 19:50:47 +1200
>> I've seen a system (though infrequently) that increases the price as
>> more prints are sold. The initial price for the image "trash on a
>> street" is q dollars. First N prints will be sold at $q. Next N prints
>> will be sold at $cq where c > 1. Next N prints will be sold at $c^2q,
>> and so forth. Say c = 1.25. By the time the 25th print is sold, the
>> price of "trash on a street" will be about 3x the original price. If
>> this is not good enough, you can also factor in inflation, market
>> price for silver nitrate, a really good Port or something.
> (There I forgot to say N = 5.)
>> Fay Godwin, the English landscape photographer, uses this system and
>> it
>> works very well for her. People that supported her career early on and
>> bought the first prints have now got a handsome reward for their
>> effort.
> Thanks, I didn't know that but I wonder why don't people use this
> system more. I also think this is a way to seek softer and more
> satisfying compromise between collectors' desire and photographers'
> intention. Is there a name for the system? (I can think of only one
> name... "geometric pricing" because the price goes up as a geometric
> sequence at the completion of each batch.
> --
> Ryuji Suzuki
> "You have to realize that junk is not the problem in and of itself.
> Junk is the symptom, not the problem."
> (Bob Dylan 1971; source: No Direction Home by Robert Shelton)
Tom Ferguson
Received on Sat Jul 10 09:04:39 2004

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