A good compromise may be for the gallery to sell on a commission basis. This will allow the gallery to take a smaller precentage as they are not having to buy the print up front.
What influences secondary market values ?
There are four main factors. The quality of the art work and its reproduction. The subject matter of the painting, if all other things are equal a Spitfire will outsell a Catalina. Demand for the aircrew signatories, how distinguished they are and how rare their original signature is. Lastly of course is the edition size, reflecting basic supply and demand. In addition the value of any given copy of a print will be affected by its condition and where you are trying to sell it, certain subjects will sell better in particular geographies.
There is an increasing trend towards breaking an issue down into a standard edition and a number of higher value sub-editions, sometimes as few as 25 prints, typically these will have more/rarer signatures. This is a good trend for the collector, it means that if you just like the art work and are not particularly concerned about signatures then you can buy a standard edition at a reasonable price, whilst the signature collectors can indulge themselves with the more exclusive editions. These will obviously command proportionately higher secondary market prices, as generally do Artist Proofs. A pencil remarque by a top artist on a rare print can easily add $800-$1,000 so take this into account when calculating insurance values.
Is it possible to predict which new issues will increase in value ?
This is quite difficult to do. Certain artists, like Robert Taylor in the UK and William Phillips in the USA have a good track record of producing prints that sell out quickly and then appreciate but there is no guarantee. Accepted wisdom is that you should buy things you like and take any increase in value as a bonus.
How does Aviation Art World reach its valuations ?
The first thing to say is this is not an exact science, many things can affect an editions value and they are constantly changing. We have the benefit of a worldwide network of contacts. When we decide on a value for a rare print it will reflect both recently achieved prices and what other sellers are now asking. Ultimately though something is only worth what someone else will pay for it at a given point in time.