Theoretically, an Artist’s Proof is an impression of a print taken during the print-making process while the artist is still working on it, i.e., a working proof or trial impression. However, in modern practice, it refers to the un-numbered finished piece that is identical to the numbered copies. The artist customarily retains the proof for his/her personal use or sale. The number of Artist’s Proofs is usually small, but may be as high as 20% of the total edition.
In some cases, an artist will sign and number the Artist’s Proofs in the same manner as the numbered copies. In others, he/she will sign only, or sign with an AP inscription to denote that these are Artist’s Proofs.