What's my art worth?

  • Find your artist(s)
  • Examine auction records
  • Assess artwork attributes

Pricing Your Art

Art auction prices, upcoming auction alerts, sales analysis tools, signatures, artist research and more ...

Step 1:  Do we have your artist in our database?

If there are auction records, you may wish to compare your own artwork to those works with estimates and/or sale prices.   This will require a one-day or longer subscription (please click here for information).   

Key Considerations for Pricing Art

If you are certain you have an original oil, watercolor, or sculpture - or a signed and/or numbered work by the artist, proceed with the other valuation questions. 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. (Prints, photographs, and reproductions are mediums where we regret we are unable to help with valuation).

Look for a legible signature or notation on the artwork, including the back, and also on the bottom if it is a sculpture. If you are unable to determine the artist’s name, you might provide photos (or jpgs) to dealers and auction houses (not museums) carrying similar works.

The size of an artwork is very often a factor in its value. In addition, some artists are especially known for certain subject matter. If an artwork contains quintessential details, it may be more valuable. The year the work was painted is relevant as well, as many artists have their 'peak' most valuable periods.

In addition to looking for notation of a signature on the work, it is important to note any markings identifying the foundry, and the edition number of the work. All else equal, a sculpture will likely be more valuable if it is one of only 6 cast, as opposed to being one of 600.

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 exhibition history can add to the value of your artwork. Useful to establishing provenance, or 'history' of an artwork include: the original bill of sales; correspondence about the piece; exhibition stickers attached to the frame; notes by the artist, sometimes found on the back of the work; statements from people who knew the artist or circumstances of the painting. These must mention the painting specifically enough for it to be identified, not in vague or broad terms.

Use our search tools to find your artist. Visitors who become Subscriber members have access to all the valuable data listed below

  • Auction records and results. Look for Auction History or Auctions Upcoming information for your artist. Please note: some artists may not have any historical or upcoming auction records, so please study our summary menu for each artist before assuming we have data.
  • Biographical info. Look at the "Biography" link for background information about your artist, their training, exhibits, etc.
  • Dealers and galleries. Look for the dealers who carry your artist, and their "For Sale" or "Wanted" ads, and consider contacting them for their opinions on valuation.
  • Museums. 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 world. We do not, however, recommend contacting museums directly with inquiries, unless you are certain your artwork is of museum quality.
  • Biographical info. Look at the "Biography" link for background information about your artist, their training, exhibits, etc.
  • Publications. Look for the "Books" and "Magazines" that have included your artist. The more listed, the better.
  • General facts. Look at the "Quick Facts" to find a broad overview about your artist.
  • Our auction records go back close to 20 years, and cover the prices an artist may have obtained at auction, including presale estimates, sizes, titles, and images of the artworks.

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.

Many think of askART as 'The Artists' Bluebook'. 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. 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 encouraged as a learning experience, askART cannot be held responsible for, nor can it validate, the conclusions you or others may have derived.

I've always had a love for art, but with askART I've caught the "art fever!“ I've literally used it to learn more about art in general and explore artists that I never would have known before.
- J. Barnwell
I started collecting art about 2 months ago and was looking for a "bluebook" service to give me an idea on what I should pay. The first few paintings I purchased, I dramatically overpaid for them. So, I asked a local auction house and they highly recommended your service.
- D. L., Seattle
I love your site and find it extremely useful. Easy to maneuver around and very user-friendly.
- Bonhams

Sample askART Records

•  Cy Twombly  Minimalism
•  Georgia O'Keeffe  Landscapes
•  Andrew Wyeth  Portraits
•  Ed Ruscha  Pop word illusions
•  Camille Pissarro  Impressionist