What is a plate signed lithograph?

Written by sachiko schott
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A lithograph is an illustration that is printed onto paper using a stone block. Today, people collect lithographs either as antiques or as works by modern artists.

Lithographic Plates

Lithographs are made by rolling ink onto a polished stone that has been drawn on using a waxy crayon. The ink sticks only to the wax, and the stone can be pressed onto paper to print the image. The stone block used to make the print is called a plate.

Plate-Signed Lithographs

Sometimes, the artist's signature is included on the lithograph as part of the printing process. With plate-signed lithographs, the artist signs the plate directly, and the signature is replicated on every lithographic print.

Plate-Signed Lithographs and Collecting

How a lithograph was signed will affect its value. Plate-signed lithographs are generally less expensive, because the any number of signed lithographs can be printed. In contrast, prints that have been individually signed and numbered by the artist are limited-edition.

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