A controlled or set number of copies of a work of art, it is a term used for sculpture and graphics. Once the 'limit' of copies is determined, the plate, mold, or die is thrown away---an assurance of uniqueness to collectors. The practice of making limited editions originated with etchings and drypoint because increased use on the plates created wear that led to decreased quality of work. Source: Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"<br><br>The set number of replicas or copies a sculptor plans to make or has had made from an original, after which the mould is destroyed. The practice of limiting editions and numbering proofs originated with etching and drypoint, in which the quality of the proofs declines as the copper plate begins to show signs of wear. By thus limiting the size of an edition to first-rate examples of a sculptor's work, the sculptor protects his or her artistic integrity and the value of the works to the collector. There is no technical reason for limiting or numbering editions of works of art that are made by processes capable of turning out an indefinite number of uniformly good copies, such as lithography or casting methods that employ durable moulds - and in any case a new mould can be taken from the original to extend an edition (if not limited). Editions are frequently limited however for financial reasons; by ensuring the relative rarity of the sculptor's work, he or she increases its value.<br><br>An edition or set of prints of a known number of impressions, usually fewer then 200, numbered and signed.