This short article is to offer general information and guidelines for appraising your artwork. We are certain that several minutes reviewing this article can be beneficial.
It is our experience that appraisals of art work are sought for 3 reasons.
The first is for insurance purposes. We highly recommend re-appraisal of insured work every 5 to 10 years. Some collections warrant re-appraisal annually. An important note here, for those who are unaware of the value of their artwork, is that most insurance policies exclude coverage of artwork.
The second reason for appraisals is an impending sale. We receive the most appraisal requests for this reason. The impending sale of artwork requires the most due diligence and precautionary research. About once every 6 months we hear of an individual or organization that lost substantial revenue by selling artwork far below the current value.
The third reason is curiosity. Many of our clients just want an idea of the value of their artwork. The value of a family heirloom usually peaks the curiosity of the owner.
No Qoro employee is qualified as an appraiser. We can offer assistance in directing your personal research and refer reputable appraisers. An accurate appraisal can only be performed by a highly trained professional.
A professional appraisal includes elements like reviewing and verifying provenance (history of an artwork's ownership), determining the age and physical condition of a work, researching the sales history of the artist and determining the marketability of a particular piece based on the subject, medium and demand in the current market.
Here are some recommendations from Qoro if you are considering the sale of any artwork.
1) Beware of an anxious buyer. Although we can not speak for the credibility or lack of integrity of your particular source it has been our experience that an anxious buyer is planning on profiting from your exchange.
2) Avoid seeking an appraisal where you plan to sell. There are countless venues for selling art. An appraisal that originates from the potential sales source may not be in your best interest. It is best to pay for an independent appraisal. Your appraiser may recommend a venue for the sale or even refer a private client.
2) Research your artwork independently. It is important that you have general knowledge of the art and artist before you seek professional assistance. We recommend askart.com as a resource. You can find general information about the artist if he or she has recorded sales for free. For a fee (less than $20.00) you can research that sales history. There are many other sources on the web and a couple of hours surfing could increase your revenues substantially.
3) Visit a reputable conservator. Chances are, if your art is relatively old (pre 1980) it could use some conservation. This not only increases the value of the work, but a conservator may be able to give more information about the work and possibly even offer an approximate value. Some conservators are also qualified appraisers. Your conservator may also recommend a venue for the sale or refer a private client.
4) Sell within the artist's home region. This is where knowledge of the artist is important. Many artists reach a renowned status with-in their region but are virtually unknown in other areas of the country. Seeking appraisal and conservation services within the artist's region are also recommended.
5) Don't forget the frame. Sometimes the frame on a piece of art can be more valuable than the artwork. This is another good reason to use resources within the artists region. Demand for the work of a local artisan is better in the region they practiced their craft.
6) Don't be afraid to seek a second opinion. Even the best appraiser may hit a wall when identifying work. The magnitude of artists and artwork worldwide can not possibly be assembled into one data base. Your appraiser may be able to provide you with enough general information to seek someone highly specialized in a particular genre, region or country.
7) Some prints are valuable so don't discount possible value in a signed and numbered print. Hand in hand with that statement we also have to say most prints are not valuable. Signed and numbered lithographs are produced in large numbers which decreases the chance of a print being rare.
8) If you are planning to sell a treasured piece of artwork or a family heirloom consider having Qoro Replicas™ made to hang in the space the original once occupied and for family members and friends.