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Art Appraisal Is The Very First Step Before Making A Buying Decision

Jan 22, 2008
Many art appraisals can be done on your own if you're utilizing auctions on eBay, for a small piece worth a few hundred dollars. Other times, you may want to consult a professional who will help you get the most out of your investment. An art appraisal is important for determining "market value" for sales purposes, as well as "replacement value" for tax or insurance purposes.

There are several steps in getting an art appraisal. First of all, note whether you have original artwork, and if it was directly created by the artist. If you are unsure, visit a frame shop or art gallery to help you figure out if you have a print or the original.

Next, find the artist signature to ascertain the artist. Some auction houses will accept works without a discernable signature, so long as you provide clear pictures. Thirdly, gauge the condition of the art you possess.

Are there any rips, signs of over-painting or corrections? Has the color faded, are there watermarks or does it need cleaning? Never try to fix a painting up by yourself! There are professional restoration experts who can carefully, gently improve the overall appearance of the work, without making it obvious.

If this painting has been handed down from generation to generation, or owned by prominent figures, then the value of your piece could increase significantly, although it's rare to find paintings with complete ownership/artists records. You can check with the Fine Art Registry to see if your piece has ever been tagged and logged into the system.

Sometimes you may come across a place that is willing to provide free art appraisals. While at first this may seem like a fantastic deal, one should exercise caution. Sometimes these criminals are simply looking to buy your artwork for cheap and resell it at a higher value!

You may think you're getting more money than anticipated, but it could be a fraction of what the appraiser can get for it! A smarter do-it-yourself tactic would be to simply peruse AskArt or FindArtInfo websites for a list of current market values. However, be aware that these prices are just a rough ballpark figure and can often be deceiving.

The danger of the do-it-yourself approach, of course, is that its price lists can be very inaccurate and deceiving. For instance, fine art may sell at bargain prices if an auction is poorly promoted or if bidders are uninformed. Secondly, private sales can be much higher than auctions, so if you're looking for top dollar, you won't find it in auction results.

If an artist's range is wide (say, $1,000 to $100,000), then it's a good idea to get a professional opinion. Thirdly, historical significance and current marketplace activity can affect the supply and demand of your fine art for sale.

Lastly, professional art appraisals can help pair you with the most valuable collectors by subject matter. Check with the Dealers Association of America, American Society of Appraisers, the International Society of Appraisers or the Appraisers Association of America for an honest art appraisal of your exquisite masterpiece.
About the Author
Enrich your knowledge further about art appraisals from Mike Selvon portal. We appreciate your feedback at our fine art auctions blog where a free gift awaits you.
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