It is a delicate task to pinpoint the main rules to follow to evaluate the authenticity of a print, but we will try to give some basic advise on the subject. Every single detail must be taken into account and as a matter of fact minor details often enable the expert to carry out the evaluation.
Once the author of the print composition is identified, the expert is always able to test the authenticity of the work. It is possible to ascertain if the print in object was struck from the original plate, if it is an original, if it is a restrike or a counterfeit. In no other artistic field can the expert possibly judge with such certainty. No doubts can arise in the graphic art: a print is either authentic or apocryphal.
Again, it is impossible that only part of the work is authentic while the rest is counterfeited or reproduced, as might be the case with paintings, violins or pieces of furniture. The task of the expert is nevertheless complex. Not only must the paper and the filigree be examined, but also other relevant elements, such as the engraved lines, the total and partial measures of the impression, the lines carved on the plate. It is essential to consult the rich systematic literature, containing any sort of information, such as witnesses from the artists’ contemporaries as to the different states of the imprint, possible little variations on the plate made by a third person, restrikes and counterfeits. A further proof may be the comparison between the engraving and some similar sample collected in museums.