Your Guide to Buying Art Deco Prints on eBay

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Art Deco Limited Edition Modern Prints Buying Guide

Art deco is classified as a visual art that emphasises geometric shapes such as triangles, spheres and various polygons into its design. They use these shapes to depict a number of objects in both a conventional and unconventional manner.

Many of the traditional paintings that were initially formed in 20th century Europe grew in popularity and are now available as limited edition prints which can be found from selected outlets. This guide will look at some of the different types of art deco paintings and how to go about buying limited edition prints from eBay in an efficient and secure manner.

Art Deco: A Background

  • The concept of art deco compositions has been defined as early 20th century work formed by an assembly of French artists. In the post Great War years, the art form was associated with luxury, charm and modernised technical advancements in society; its influence thus spread to the design of buildings and vehicles. Since the Second World War the popularity of art deco seemed to decrease with the average buyer but has since become fashionable again in the form of duplicated prints.
  • The attributes of art deco revolve around loud and defined geometrical shapes in a variety of colour. These shapes are arranged symmetrically to construct a whole host of themes, with human portraits being a popular subject matter. Many buildings and modes of transport are depicted as well in art deco workings and despite some of these industrial themes, there is still a sense of glamour and vogue associated with them. Art deco has now developed into an iconic style and a popular art theme in both painting and print form in homes across the UK.

Art Prints

  • Exact copies of popular art works are commonly printed onto paper to replicate the original. This makes it accessible for the general public to own duplications of works by art deco pioneers such as Tamara de Lempicka or Ertė for example. There are many techniques to printing that form its appearance such as engraving, screen printing and digital printing that can be applied onto canvasses or paper alike.
  • Limited edition prints are ones that have had a fixed number of duplications made; in simple terms this means there are a set number of them in existence to buy with little or no chance of any more being reproduced in the future. This obviously makes some limited edition copies more valuable for some art collectors than others. Most modern artists only produce limited editions of their work.

Buying Considerations for Art Deco Prints

This section will look at what should be considered before coming to make a limited edition purchase of an art deco print.

  • Firstly consider how much is going to be spent on an art deco piece in terms with what can be afforded. Remember that buying art isn’t a necessary vocation and although it can add significantly to the appearance and feel of a home, overspending on an expensive art deco print is not advisable.
  • To understand better of what price roughly to be paying, then do more research into the art deco and limited edition printing world; this can help first time buyers significantly. If the specific work is known then this will make this a lot easier to gather a reasonable price.
  • The size of the art print is again a simple consideration that may be missed. Consider the area in which it will be hung or positioned and buy accordingly. When checking out the item’s details then look closely into the width and length specifications which will usually be listed in inches.
  • The location of the print needs to be considered in terms of the colour scheme or any other art works that may be in the vicinity. Consider how the new art deco print and its’ substance will affect the room it is in.
  • Sometimes when buying an art deco print, the frame will be included in the price. Other times this won’t be the case so consider buying the frame separately and also if the size conditions of the print will match up. Also think about the style of the painting in contrast to the frame.
  • With many art forms an unfortunate amount of fakes can leak into the market, causing buying distress for amateur collectors and even some experts. For items that are reasonably priced then this may not be too much of a concern for many people but for those looking at art deco pieces at the top-end of the market then much more deliberation must be made over the purchase. Bringing in an independent adjudicator is a smart move if looking for that crucial, one-off acquisition.
  • Where to buy from is another aspect to consider. It is much easier to buy online than from a store, although this doesn’t allow you to examine the art deco print in person. However, with careful deliberation during the buying process then making an art deco limited edition online can be a successful venture. eBay is a good website to begin a search as many of the relevant prints are listed in the same place making it simpler to compare styles and prices. The following section highlights the advantages of buying on eBay.

Benefits of Buying on eBay

Aswell as being able to shop from the comfort of home and at your own leisure, using eBay provides further advantages to just buying from a conventional online outlet.

  • For example, typing in something like “art deco prints” or “limited edition art deco” will bring up a whole host of models that may be hard to find on other websites or in shops. Second-hand versions that may not be available on the current market can also be viewed as well, often at a much more affordable rate.
  • There is also the chance to narrow down a search easily by using the advanced search menu or the preference bar on the left hand side of the results page. This can pinpoint the most preferable art deco work needed and save the hassle that will come with shopping on the high street.
  • If any questions come up about the print in question, then eBay offers the chance to ask the seller a question. This is especially useful if more information on the art deco print is needed such as its provenance, historical importance or artist’s inspirations.  

The notion of interacting with other members of the site is confounded under the eBay Community page. Below is a quick run through of this eBay feature that adds to its user friendly and human nature.

eBay Community

By clicking on the Community tab at the top of the home page more detailed information about buying on eBay can be explored, not just for an art deco limited edition print but for any future purchases also. The subsections within the Community tab are highlighted below.

Answer Centre

The answer centre is a forum type page that allows eBayers to ask questions to other members in case something isn’t clear about the site or advice is needed about a potential dispute. Browse through previously asked queries to see if a suitable answer can be found or ask a completely new question and wait for a response. Members should adhere to the eBay Board usage policy when using the Answer Centre.

Discussion Boards

Using the discussion boards, like the answer centre, is useful for finding out answers to unknown queries. The discussion pages are sorted by category so it is relatively simple to use – simply clicking on the appropriate link will bring up tons of pages that show what other eBayer are talking about and can assist with the purchase of an art print.


The groups section allows users to connect with their contemporaries in respect to certain interests. In respect to limited edition prints, an art group can be searched for to find out other keen collectors who may be able to assist with any potential purchase.


The news page lets eBayers know all the latest announcements from the company concerning a whole host of matters, from any scheduled maintenance plans on the site to changes in the user agreement policy.


The art deco movement which began in 1920’s France has inspired many different art forms spanning from the design of buildings such as the Empire State Building in New York, to ways of painting human features in a certain style and even onto other art movements such as cubism and expressionism.

When coming to make a purchase then consider the simple aspects such as the size and design of the art print aswell as how much to be paying. Limited edition pieces will tend to cost more than open edition pieces so bear this in mind also. Using eBay is a clever way of examining the market and all the art deco limited edition prints on the same website, saving time and effort. Remember to research the depth of the market as closely as possible to get a better idea of what to be paying.

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