How to get an art appraisal done

S o you have a piece of art you inherited from a dead relative and you don’t particularly like it. So, you decide to sell it. But how much do you sell it for? That’s where art appraisals come in. This is the process of analysing art to decide how much it is worth in the marketplace. It is done by professionals with many years of experience and costs a fee. It is worth it for art that seems to be valuable, as you could then make some good money by selling the piece. Read on for more.

1. Get a rough idea of the piece’s worth

Before you go paying for an appraisal on a piece that could have been a child’s colour-by-numbers, ensure that the piece is even worth the appraisal. Chat to friends or colleagues who may have some interest in art. If you know the name of the artist, do some research online to find out more about them. If it seems that the piece could be worth a pretty penny, it is then a great idea to invest in a professional appraisal to see just how much it is worth.

2. Find a trustworthy appraiser

Browse auction guides, do some online research or call an auction house in your area that has a good reputation and ask them to recommend an appraiser. Auction houses usually have them on staff. It is important that you use someone who truly knows what they are talking about and has the relevant experience to ensure your appraisal is as accurate as possible.

3. Get the piece appraised

It is now time to take the piece to be appraised. You want to ensure that the piece, for example a painting, gets to the appraiser as safely as possible, so you need to pack it properly for transportation. If the piece is framed with glass, make an X shape in masking tape across the glass. You will then need to cover it in a thick piece of cardboard and wrap the whole thing up in a thick layer of bubble wrap. Put it into a box and fill empty space with packing foam, rags or newspaper to prevent movement. The appraisal of the piece should take a few weeks to do, as it will require research by the appraiser to ensure the appraisal is accurate.

4. Avoid trying to appraise the piece yourself

It may seem easy enough to do with a bit of online research, but you must be aware that the internet is not a reliable source of accurate information, and as such your appraisal could be based on completely false information. Besides this, institutions such as insurance companies will require a proper appraisal certificate from a trusted art appraiser.

Once you have had your art appraised, you can either sell it through an auction house or art dealer, or simply decide to hang onto it as a family heirloom.

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