An impression of a print made before an edition to check the quality of the work. Proofs became more common with the advent of widespread printing, and may contain only the image and none of the accompanying text that the final impressions contain, as it is considered a rough draft.


There are several types of proofs available to collectors, including artist’s proofs, B.A.T proofs, and printer’s proofs.

A trial proof is a proof created before a production run, and is created to ensure that the proof being created properly. There may several trial proofs, and the number depends on whether the artist makes adjustments to the material.

A bon à tirer (B.A.T) proof is the final trial proof of the artist before the printer begins a production run. This type of proof was used to tell the printer, who may not be the artist, how the proof should look. There is generally only one B.A.T proof for each edition.

An artist’s proof is an edition provided to the artist by the publisher. The artist is allowed to sell his or her portion of the edition.

A printer’s proof is a copy provided to the printer for free by the print publisher. There can be more than one printer’s proof for each edition.

  1. Gallerist

    The owner or operator of an art gallery. Gallerists buy and sell ...
  2. Chandelier Bid

    A bid that is announced by an auctioneer during an auction that ...
  3. Lyon & Turnbull

    An auction house established in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1826. ...
  4. Phillips

    A New York-based auction house specializing in the sale of art ...
  5. Original Print

    A work of art that is created using a master image carved into ...
  6. Giclées

    A digital reproduction of a print created through digital technology. ...
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    What to Collect: Apple Watch vs. Luxury Watches

    The "iWatch" is a new player in the luxury watch world. But will it stand the test of time? Some points for collectors to ponder.
  2. Personal Finance

    Buying Fur: Which Variety Is Worth the Most?

    Fur is once again hot among the haute couture set. A guide to getting the best skin for your style (and money).
  3. Insurance

    Designer Clothes: Why You Need Special Insurance

    You spend a lot of money on couture creations. Shouldn't they be protected from damage?
  4. Investing News

    3 Odd Investments Worth Considering

    Designer handbags, comic books and web domains: should these odd items be on your investing radar?
  5. Personal Finance

    5 Tips for Vintage Car Collecting

    Old autos. There’s just something about all that shiny metal that captivates our attention.
  6. Professionals

    5 Unique Assets to Invest Your Retirement Money In

    Investing for retirement doesn't always mean 401(k)s and IRAs. Here are five unique assets to invest your retirement money in.
  7. Taxes

    The Risks of Investing in Art and Collectibles

    Investing in art and collectibles has the potential to lead to a big payday, but it's often a difficult road.
  8. Taxes

    The Advantages of Investing in Art & Collectibles

    Investing in collectibles can be profitable and fun, and can offer tax benefits for some.
  9. Taxes

    How Are Collectibles Taxed?

    If you plan to sell collectibles, it's imperative that you know the tax implications.
  10. Stock Analysis

    When Investing in Whisky, Mind Your Liquidity

    As rare spirits fetch unprecedented prices at auctions, investing in whiskey may prove even more tempting than drinking it.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  2. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  3. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  4. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  5. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
  6. Cost Of Funds

    The interest rate paid by financial institutions for the funds that they deploy in their business. The cost of funds is one ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!