How to recognize an original lithograph?

What makes the image unique?

The original lithograph has no raster, but a slight irregular grain. The ink deposited on the paper is thicker compared to that of a fake lithograph. The paper type is heavier with a fibrous appearance. We can also identify an original clay lithograph. Indeed, the grain is just as characteristic, irregular and without weft. On paper or on clay – earthenware, stoneware or porcelain – the artist will leave traces of his manual intervention during the production of the lithograph. He will put all his know-how and his talent in the design of each lithograph to make it unique. In the lithographs on porcelain, we can see variations in the depth of the blacks, engraving effects, stains, traces of brush, spoon, etc. To these interventions of the artist are added that of the finishing of the ceramic and the enamelling. The cooking process can also have an impact on the result.

Is the number of prints limited?

There is no limit to the draft. Nevertheless, the artist himself sets the number he wishes to produce. As these are not photomechanical reproductions, all lithographs designed are original works. The contemporary lithograph is signed and numbered. For example, if you find 5/30, it means that the artist made 30 identical lithographs, and the one you have in your hands is the fifth production. The artist provides a certificate of authenticity which can attest to this. 

Does the signature matter?

An original lithograph is of course signed by the artist. On porcelain this signature may be visible, but it is sometimes found at the back of the work or below if it is a sculpture. It can be punched or engraved directly into the clay. Sometimes it’s a tampon. If the piece is then covered with a glaze, or has undergone firing after being signed, it is easier to certify that it is original. If you want to learn more about how ceramists sign their work, read this article on my main blog.