Posted by Noel Chiappa (22.214.171.124) on November 16, 2011 at 15:49:03:
In Reply to: Re: Hiroshige! posted by Mikael on November 15, 2011 at 13:48:26:
"I wonder what make the difference between the less expensive or the expensive copy?"
There are three different measures of a print's quality which are factors in how much any particular copy is worth.
1 - Impression: This is basically a measure of 'how good was the print when it was brand new'. The wooden blocks wear (although nowadays publishers like Watanabe have learned how to almost avoid this), so the later prints produced from a set of blocks will have things like breaks in fine lines, etc, etc. Also, for things like bokashi (shading), sometimes later in the run the printers get lazy and leave some of that out.
Now we have two that measure 'how good is it now'.
2 - Colour: Since pre-Meiji prints use mostly vegetable-based pigments, they fade quickly, and in the worst ones, the colour is almost completely gone. So how much colour is left is important.
3 - Condition: This is basically everything other than 'colour': stains (the worst), dirt, tears, holes, missing sections, etc, etc.
The combination of these three factors will have an affect the value - and a bigger effect on the more expensive prints.
So a 'perfect' late Toyokuni III of a not very good print might be worth US$300, but the same print in bad shape might be only worth $30. But a perfect Hokusai 'Great Wave' might be worth several hundred thousand US$, but one in very poor condition (worn blocks, faded colour, dirty and torn) might only be worth a couple of thousand.
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