In the world of fine prints we have several tests that determine authenticity. All original woodcut prints must be printed from the artist's handmade woodblock. Escher kept control of virtually all of the blocks he carved, and after his death in 1972 each block was cancelled at the Gemeentemuseum in Holland by drilling a hole through the image to prevent reprinting.

Each original print must be exactly the same size as the block it was printed from, so images are carefully measured and compared to the master list of sizes in Escher's catalog raisonee (M. C. Escher: His Life and Complete Graphic Work). Also, woodblock ink has a certain look to it which is entirely different from photocopier or lithographic inks.

All of Escher's editions were small vintage printings, and so the paper Escher used tends to be consistent from one image in an edition to another. Thus, the specific 'look and feel' of the image, ink, and paper are the hallmark of an authentic vintage Escher print.

In this way an Escher graphic is authenticated in the same way as a Rembrandt or a Durer print: works of historic craftsmanship which are verified by the nature of the artwork itself and not diminished by the fact that these printmakers did not autograph their creations.

One more thing, which is a truth that applies throughout the art world: buy from someone you trust. I seldom purchase prints from people who I have not known for years and years, and I'm familiar with their connection to Escher. Every picture has its history which weaves a plath from Escher's studio to a collector's walls.

- Jeffrey Price