The art market is flushed with originals, copies, prints, and the like. But how do you tell if what you have in your possession is worth something? With a fluid art market, every aspect can affect an old painting’s valuation. There are some clues within the painting that may give you an idea of who it was done by and if it is worth anything.
The first order of business is to make sure what you have is original and not a print. Using a magnifying glass, take a good close look at your painting to make sure it is painted onto the canvas and not printed. You’ll be in better luck if it is an actual painting, however, some limited-edition prints go for a pretty good price as well. Rare antique oil paintings by respected artists can fetch a hefty price; if you feel you are in possession of an original, it would be best to get it appraised for its actual value.
It's important to figure out who the artist is. Carefully look around the painting for signatures, initials or monograms that could alert you to who the artist is. You could also reverse image search the piece on Google to find out. This could also help you determine if it's an original or print and how many copies were made. If the artists are still alive, they belong to the primary market. This means that their achievements such as awards, exhibitions, and museums that they have shown in, all add to the value of their painting. If the artist has passed, they belong to the secondary market. Their work is then valued according to how rare and how much of a pioneer they were in their field.
If there are any markings on the painting in the form of a signature, initials or monogram, it can be easily checked online where there are sites that compare different artists’ signatures. Artists who are still alive are easier to verify for the authenticity of the painting. For artists who have passed, documentation of the painting is essential and can impact the value of the painting.
Style and Technique
In the life of an artist, there are certain eras of their work that stand out amongst the rest. Pieces from these eras are valued at a higher price. So are the specific styles the artists are known for. Works in those styles go for much more than other pieces that are not. The mediums of the artist’s work also
play a role in its value. For example, oil on canvas usually goes for higher prices than works done on paper.
Whether the piece has been exhibited in prestigious museums or galleries or has belonged to famous art collectors before also determines the value and if it is worth more than other pieces in that era.
With all this in mind, you now have a better understanding of the piece you own. If you believe it is worth something, the next step is to get it appraised. Wm. Roland Appraisers & Estate Advisors offer appraisal services on a variety of assets. Feel free to contact us today to find out more.