What are proofs?
An A/P stands for Artist’s Proof. This is the impression of
a print taken in the printmaking process to see the current printing state of a plate that is being worked on (or woodblock, lino, screen etc). In current practice it is usually used to describe an impression of the finished work that is identical to the numbered edition. Artist’s proofs are not included in the count of the limited edition. Sometimes an Artist’s Proof might have more value to a collector especially if the proof belongs or belonged to the artist or one of his/her friends.
A TP, or Trial Proof, is a proof pulled to determine the appearance of the image. Many trial proofs may be pulled before the BAT or PP which indicate the finished state of the work. The edition is then printed. They are sometimes called ‘States’.
BAT ( Bon à Tirer) is the final trial proof – approved by the artist – which tells the printer exactly how the edition should look. Each impression in the edition is matched to the BAT and the proof is used principally when someone other than the artist is printing the series. There is only one of these proofs for an edition.
Impressions annotated HC (short for Hors Commerce) are sales prints that can be handled many times. They may differ from the edition by being printed on a different kind of paper or with a variant inking; however, they may all be just the same.
A printer’s proof is a complimentary proof given to the printer. There can be one or several of these proofs, depending upon the number of printers involved and the generosity of the publisher.