Knowing the value of art can require some skill and experience. If you're starting on a collection and do not know how to value art, then lucky you, since you can always get the help of an art appraiser. However, if you decide on pursuing the value for yourself, then be sure that you avoid making some of the common mistakes regarding the matter.
Most people seeking the value of a piece tend to simply look at the price list and from there on, conclude the value of the work in consideration. However, there is much to value than simple market prices. Pricelists can be very misleading, since artworks' values are not only determined by its price; here are some of the reasons why, and some other overlooked factors when valuating an art.
It's A Bargain!
Sometimes, if an auction is poorly publicized, they hold sales or bargains in order to sell. Thus, you can find great art that are priced way low from their real value in this kind of auctions. There are also instances in which only single bidders are able to recognize the significance of the art at hand. During this kind of situations, the piece can also be sold at a low price if there are no other bidders who want to pursue the piece. No Auction Records
There are instances too in which the significant works of a certain artist have never been sold in any kind of auction. It's quite normal for the finest and popular pieces by an artist to sell for huge amounts of money, approximately tens of thousands or even more, at galleries. However, that same artist can have high auction records only in level of low or mid-thousands of bucks. Thus, if your artist has not had any significant work of his through any auction, then you can also value the work extremely low.
It can also be hard for you to value the piece if the price range of the artist is too great. For example, an artist can have hundreds or even thousands of auction records, ranging for instance in between $1000-$200,000. If you are not a competent professional appraiser, for sure you'll probable have little or even no idea where the piece would fit in with a continuum that is vast as that.
Significance Is The Key For an artwork to be accurately valued, its significance should be determined. Thus, you should get to know how the piece would level in respect to how excellent, well, or bad it is done, compared to the other works of the same artist. Techniques used in the piece and its overall aesthetics play a role here. So, if your piece at hand is really good, yet you're not able to know or see how good it is, then for sure you're going to value it way low from its justified value.
Unearthing History Matters
Additionally, historical significance would also matter in valuing your art. The more it is historically significant, the higher its value is. Factors like the piece being able to transcend its artist due to what it represents, when it was created, where it was done, and other similar mitigating aspects, play a role with its history significance. Thus, if you haven't uncovered the historical significance of your art, then it would probably have a low value for you.
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