What do you do with art that you no longer love? You can donate, gift, or even sell…..Whatever you have decided to do, you first will need to know what it is that you own. How do you find this information? Why…Researching it On-Line, Right? After all we have an infinite amount of knowledge at our fingertips, all we have to do is hit one little button. The one that opens up the vast On-Line world. What a great era we live in!!
However, what is your first step in finding information on this particular artist? How do you know which sites to trust? You may have come across multiple artists with the same exact name. How do you know which one is the right one? At this point in your research you may realize you are in unfamiliar territory.
Let us tell You why we strongly encourage you to NOT do Research on your own, especially when it is for more than just curiosity.
Value ~ Let’s start with an important part of what you need to know when trying to donate or sell your artwork. How do you figure out the value of your art? Let’s say you found all the correct information on your artist. Wonderful, as this can be difficult to achieve. You even find a similar or the same item by this artist and you see the asking price of X amount of dollars. Is that what you would value it as? NO…..
- Your value has to be based of what the artwork has been sold for….this is the actual dollar amount someone paid for the artwork.
- Factors about the artist play a role in the value as well. Talent, Popularity, Life Dates, and more need to be factored in.
- Signature ~ If the artwork was not signed by the artist then the value decreases, as this may mean you have no idea who the artist is, or you cannot prove it is by a certain person.
- History – Perhaps you or a family member met the artist. Or, the artwork has been under your family control for generations. These are factors in establishing the value.
- What if you bring your art to a Third Party, a place that will help you sell it, and they say the value is different than what you suggest. How do you know who is right? Galleries will most likely want an appraisal by an accredited appraiser, before they help sell. They require this for ethical, moral, and legal reasons.
- If, you cannot find the artist, meaning the artist is not listed, then how do you figure out value from there? It does not mean your painting is worthless if you cannot find the artist. But, now you have to use comparables to find the value, which puts you in a whole new field. Why not, trust the experts?
Did you account for all this information? There are many more details to uncover when figuring out the correct value. We want the best for YOU and the artist; let’s face it, once you sell then the artwork, then it has sway on the value of the rest of the artist’s work.
Details ~ There are a hundred details to go over when doing your research, if you miss just one you may find yourself in the wrong place, researching the wrong artist. Why not put your trust into someone, who has 30 plus years of schooling and experience, in the art world to help you in this unfamiliar game? Let’s go over some of the details we look for, perhaps we can give you some tools to use when you purchase more art in the future:
- The artwork came with a Certificate of Authenticity ~ This may be a false sense of security. As in any field, there is fraud which happens on a regular basis, even with Art. These certificates, unfortunately, have played a role in many fraudulent cases. It is not hard to print a piece of paper stating facts about the art and artist. One way to help ensure you have a true Certificate of Authenticity is to make sure it is signed by the artist. Signatures can be forged, yes; however, the certificate can never be 100% verified that it was signed by the artist anyway. Not unless you witnessed it, or you are able to go directly to the artist to verify. But, the signature allows you to be one step closer to knowing you have an authentic ‘piece’ of artwork.
- Signature on the artwork ~ Not only is it is crucial to the value, but it gives us a chance to look it over and verify it is not a forged signature. It gives us a place to start when researching the art. Did you know there are millions of artists that have been on this earth? Many of them even share the same names. Fine Arts Appraisers may recognize names that you have never heard of…. They may also have access to more databases to find the correct artist.
- Did you know that the subject painted in the art can also give a time frame of the era the artist lived in? For example, a still life painting depicts inanimate objects (food, rocks, shells, etc) and man made objects (Vases, table cloths, etc). The artist would sometimes paint whatever the new import (man made) was of that time, hence giving us history and the era for that artist.
There is so much more to research than looking for a few basic details. We have only shared a small fraction of what we look for when researching Fine Arts. We are not by any means discouraging you from researching your artist or the specific style of art. After all we encourage others to learn about their art; it is fascinating and exciting. However, we are discouraging you to do research on your own when you are looking to insure, donate, sell, etc. One small mistake / misstep can lead you down the wrong path completely. Call us or a Fine Arts Appraiser in your location to help. Yes, we all cost money, but we are worth it. And we really are not expensive. Give us a call if you want to know more or if you need an appraisal. We will be happy to be of service.
Coronado Appraisals, LLC
“We bring you truth!”
Office: 619/929-6192 (No Texts)
Member of: International Society of Appraisers