Have you recently inherited or purchased a woodcut or linocut print and want to know its value? Mearto provides quick and affordable online appraisals of woodcut and linocut prints. All you have to do is click on the “Start Appraisal” button above and follow the steps to send us information about and images of your woodcut or linocut print. One of our qualified and experienced specialists will review and get back to you with a fair market and insurance value, typically within 48 hours. Have questions about the valuation provided, or would you like some advice about selling your woodcut or linocut print? We are here to help! Our platform allows you to chat back and forth with a specialist to ensure that all of your questions are answered.
Click the "Get Started" button below to set up a free account.
Answer a few simple questions and upload images of your item.
Receive a specialist's valuation by email in 24 to 48 hours.
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Woodcut or woodblock printing is the oldest form of printmaking, which uses an incised woodblock to transfer a design from the woodblock to another surface. Linocut, lino printing, or linoleum art is a variant of woodblock printmaking in which a sheet of linoleum is mounted on a woodblock and the desired design is incised into the linoleum surface. Linoleum printing emerged out of desire for a cleaner print. In woodblock printing, directional grain and splitting of the wood during the carving process made woodblock printing more challenging. Both are forms of relief printing techniques in which some areas of the design are raised, while the recessed areas are not.
Woodcut and linocut prints are made in the same way: by incising the surface with a sharpened tool. In woodblock printing, the block is usually made of pearwood and is seasoned to reduce the retention of moisture, which reduces cracking and warping. It’s important to note that the image incised on the block will create a mirror image on the final surface, so designs are often incised backwards on the block. Ink is then rolled onto the surface of the block and then the block is placed ink-side down onto the final surface. The size of the block, in both techniques, depends on the size of the desired resulting image. In the case of woodblock printing, multiple blocks are often used for a larger design since smaller wooden blocks are less likely to crack.
When identifying a quality print, it is important to first assess the overall physical condition of the print. Is the impression of the design complete? What is the condition of the paper (foxing, discoloration, tears, fading)? Look for a watermark or signature. Value of the print can also be influenced by the number of the print if the individual was a part of a series. This will be indicated at the bottom of the print and appear as a fraction indicating the number of the print out of the total number in the series. The denominator (or total number in the print run) will indicate that the artist destroys the plate after the total number of prints has been pulled, ensuring that no more prints from this particular plate can be pulled again. The greater the number of prints, available of the particular image, the less valuable the individual print becomes.
Lindsey Bourret is the Managing Director at Mearto. In addition to overseeing the daily operations of the business, she also enjoys sharing her extensive knowledge of the fine art and antiques market with our customers through our website, blog, e-newsletter and social media accounts.