The Most Important Skills
You Must Learn
In Order to Succeed In the ArtWorld
Learn how appraisers make an accurate estimate on pieces when the art is identified and tied to the original artist
An appraisal is nothing more than an opinion of value and anyone can have an opinion of what the actual value is. The accuracy of an appraisal depends on several things:
- The skill of the appraiser
- The meticulousness of the inspection and research
- The quantity and quality of market data available on the artwork
Professional appraisers are able to estimate the value of art when the art is identified and tied to the original artist. A professional art appraiser will is well educated in this field, but remember that the art collector still needs to know the financial value of an artwork. So if you are planning to have a piece of artwork appraised go on the internet or in a library to look up similar art pieces and their worth.
There are plenty of scammers in society and you need to make sure someone is not giving you false information. Some scammers will try to give you a low appraisal and then buy it from you, so they can resell it at a higher cost. This is against the law, but it is not going to stop a bad appraiser when money is involved.
Also, find an appraiser with a good reputation. One that is well known in the community as an honest and loyal person. If you visit an art gallery and ask for the names of some appraisers I am sure they will have a few names of appraisers with good reputations to give you. Finding a suitable appraiser takes some time and effort, but it is worth it if the artwork is believed to be of significant value
The appraiser will be able to make a valid and accurate appraisal by conducting several steps. Below is the process to obtaining an accurate appraisal. Remember if an appraiser does not follow these steps then I would advise you to run while you can, do not let them swindle you. Be one-step ahead of the game. Learn how the art world works before you enter it.
THE PROCESS OF APPRAISING:
- Valuation - The basic level of price determination, an art valuation provides an estimate of the current market value of a painting, sculpture or print. In a valuation, the artwork judged by the visual aspect - what it appears to be. Unless the owner specifically raises the issue, the artwork is presumed authentic and saleable. This is a cheaper way to determine the value the worth of a piece of artwork. Appraisals can become costly, so you may want to consider doing the valuation first. After the valuation, you may decide that you do not need a formal appraisal. During the valuation, the collector supplies the appraiser with any information they have on the artwork to be evaluated such as the artist, title, date, size, medium, condition.
The Size of Artwork - Outsize paintings typically are worth less to more standard size ones.
When the Artwork was Created - Certain periods of an artist's work are worth more to other periods.
The Condition of the Artwork - Damaged artwork cannot be completely repaired, therefore they are always worth less.
Valuation is the most basic--and least expensive--of the appraisal procedures used to determine the current market price of a painting, sculpture, print or other artwork. Usually, this is the only procedure necessary for valuing an artwork. Typically, when the artwork is worth less than $25,000 and its authenticity is not in question. Most of the times, the valuation process is enough for determining current market value of the artwork.
When you have a piece of artwork in question, a valuation is a sensible first step in acknowledging its worth. It is an excellent decision screen before spending the time and money to authenticate an artwork.
If you want to take it to the next level because you feel it has value and needs a formal appraisal then the actual appraising will be the next step. This is a more complex--and because of the complexity involved, the price will be higher than a valuation.
The appraiser will require the following:
- The collector needs to supply good front and back photographs; actual photos not email images, of the artwork.
- The appraiser will ask to review all available documentation for the work particularly origin information including sales receipts or transfers of ownership of the artwork in question.
- Prior appraisals, expert opinions, publication and exhibition histories are also helpful in speeding the appraisal process and in limiting the cost. The appraiser may wish to inspect the artwork, especially if condition or attribution appears to be at issue. Typically, the base price for such an appraisal is $150-$200. If the appraisal requires specific research, the appraiser will probably bill you with an additional hourly fee.
Another important fact to remember is Appraisers are considered part of a self-regulated profession. Legally it is unclear where the appraiser's liability, if any, falls. An art appraiser who knows 19th century European paintings is unlikely to be expert in Chinese scrolls.
So remember to ask them where their expertise area falls in and remember if someone acts like a know it all- it is usually because they do not know anything at all.
Most importantly, do not forget when you are all done remember to have the appraiser professionally document the artworks authenticity and value.