What is my art worth?
Step 1 : Do you
have an original artwork?
If you are certain you have an original oil, watercolor, or sculpture-
or a signed and/or numbered work by the artist, please proceed to Step 2.
If you are unsure, we suggest you let a local frame shop or art gallery help
you determine if you have an original work versus a reproduction. Otherwise,
prints and reproductions are not an area where we can help.
Step 2 : Identify
Look for a legible signature or notation on the artwork, including the
back, and bottom if a sculpture. If you are unable to determine the artist's
name, but the quality of the work is very evident, you might provide photos (or
jpgs) to dealers and auction houses carrying similar works.
Step 3 :
The condition of your artwork will make a significant difference to its
value. Look for any rips, or signs of in-painting, or over-cleaning. Has the
work been relined? Have the colors faded, or is there water damage? Often an
ideal situation is when an artwork has never been touched up, even though it
might need cleaning badly. You may need advice from a restorer to determine
what condition your art is in, especially if it is an older work.
Knowing the lineage of ownership and exhibitions may add to the value of your
artwork, but it is rare to find older works of art with a complete history of
Step 5 : If you
find your artist listed on AskART
(If not, please try back in the future, as our site
A. Look at the "Quick Facts" to find a broad overview
about your artist.
B. Look at the "Biography" link for background
information about your artist.
C. Look for Auction History
or Auctions Upcoming
for your artist.
These queries are provided for Subscriber members
) and can yield valuable insights. Our data covers the past 18
years with the prices your artist may
have obtained at auction,
including presale estimates, sizes, titles, and images of the artworks.
Note: some artists may not have any historical or upcoming auction records, so
please pay attention to our menu for each artist before assuming we have data.
D. Look for the dealers and their "For Sale" or "Wanted"
ads and consider contacting them.
E. Look at the list of "Museums" that might list your
artist, for a sense of where he/she might stand in importance in the museum art
F. Look for the "Books" and "Magazines" that
included your artist. The more listed, the better.
Step 6 :
From the steps above, hopefully you have learned to appreciate and enjoy
your artwork even more. In addition, our records can provide the first step in
the process of determining the value of your artwork. However, please be aware
that your own research may not be a substitute for the type of formal
analysis and appraisal that can come from contracting a qualified professional
appraisal service. In addition, you should know that appraisal results will
vary according to the intended purpose of the appraisal. The two most common
purposes for appraisal are “Fair Market Value” (the value typically applied to
the donation of an artwork to a qualifying non-profit art institution), and
“Replacement Value” (which is typically required for insurance purposes). But
there are various other types of appraisal purposes, each with their own
appropriate corresponding methodologies. Only a written report prepared by a
qualified professional appraiser may serve as a legal document. Therefore,
while your own research initiative on AskART is admirable and encouraged,
AskART cannot be held responsible for, nor can it validate, the conclusions you
or others may have derived.
If you decide to sell your artwork, you have many options including doing so
directly through AskART's Classified ads for private parties (see
), or by contacting any of our dealers or auction houses that
have listed their interest in your artist.