How much is your painting worth?

If you are interested in this article, then you might have started treasuring artworks or have recently owned one. Whether commissioned or inherited or found in a local thrift store, artwork carries a certain value. But most of us don’t even think of getting art valuation for paintings.

It is challenging to know the value of an inherited painting or a thrifted collection. Most of us just keep them because they look appealing. And a vast majority of commercial painting or artwork doesn’t have much market value.

But that doesn’t mean that every painting is inexpensive. You might have an antique painting or forgotten masterpiece that is waiting to be re-discovered.

An art appraisal or valuation is a whole process of accurately determining the value of your artwork along with certifications and other tangible documentation.

Why should you get an art valuation?

Art valuation can be helpful because:

  • Estate planning and gifting- Valuation helps to determine estate tax that will pass along when you keep an antique art in your collection.
  • Restoration cost- Knowing the value of your art will help you understand the cost of restoration it will take in case of any damage. You can then decide whether you want to move forward with it or not.
  • Insurance- This is the biggest reason for art valuations. In case of any accidents or misplacement, insurance companies will need proper appraisal documents to make decisions about the claim. Without records of current value, you cannot claim insurance properly.
  • Art financing- You can use expensive artwork as collateral for a loan. But to get it approved, banks usually need a complete professional and updated appraisal of the painting.
  • Selling price- Painting valuation helps to know the market value of the art. This enables you to make decisions about the appropriate asking price in order to sell it. Also, people often want to see paperwork before buying an expensive antique painting. A professional appraisal will provide you with all the information and certificates you will need to sell the painting.

How to determine if a painting is valuable?

If you own artwork and want to understand if it's valuable, here are some guidelines you should follow.

Find information about the previous owner/s

The first thing you need to do is to find out the owner of the painting. If you inherited it, this part might get a little easier for you.

Do some research and try to find out if he/she was well known in the community. Create a list and try to go back as much as possible. If you are unable to trace much, take it to a museum or art college and try to get an appointment with the professors.

Find out the name of the artist

If you can get the artist's name, it will be easy for you to determine if the painting is valuable. A work of a well-known artist will be expensive just because of the name.

If that isn’t the case, don’t get demotivated. There are hidden treasures around the world waiting to get discovered!

Painting by recent artists can cost thousands of pounds. Suppose there is some significance of the artist during that particular time or he/she has a few paintings in good condition. In that case, it will add up to the value of the painting.

Understand the subject

The subject plays a factor in the worth of the painting. For instance, historically, portraits of women have been valued more than portraits of men. The subject matter, if it represents something historically significant or has religious significance, will be more expensive.

Examine the condition of the painting

If you are buying a painting or trying to sell one, carefully examine the piece in natural light. Check for rips or tears, or cracks. Issues like these can devalue a painting a lot.

If the colours have faded, it will decrease the value as well.

But under no circumstances, remove the painting from the frame. This will devalue the artwork.

The material and colours used

Try to comprehend the type of material that has been used to paint. Paintings on canvas are more expensive than paintings on paper or sketches.

Colours can also play a substantial role in the valuation of a painting. The quality of the colours, use of the tones are essential here. For instance, oil painting is costlier than acrylic paints. Again, the use of red can be worth more than other paintings.

For example, a painting by Gerard Richter, Blood Red Mirror was sold for $1.1 million.


After these examinations, if you feel that the painting might be valuable, the best option is to get it professionally appraised by experts like Prestige Valuation. They are a team of experts who specialises in antique valuations.


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  1. author
    27 Aug 2019
    Tomas Mandy

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    1. author
      27 Aug 2019
      Britney Millner

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  2. author
    27 Aug 2019
    Simon Downey

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