One thing that may surprise you when it comes to the world of art is that it’s pretty much unregulated. As long as they are not practicing any fraud or misrepresentation and keeping things legal, technically anyone can call themselves an art dealer and price as they wish. What this means is auction appraisals in Palm Beach can vary wildly from somewhere else. This doesn’t mean that the art industry is a bad one, and many people are able to find pieces they love for value. To make sure that you are one of those people, just make sure that you are working with top professional help.
The good news about this is that if you go to a formal auction house, you’re going to be pretty safe, as there are professional appraisers who do the work of figuring a piece’s true value before the bidding ever starts. However, there are a lot of situations where transactions may take place outside of a gallery setting, and this is why you want to make sure that you get outside help, especially if you’re not an art expert and happened to inherit a piece or something similar.
To dispel another notion, it’s not a simple job to try and appraise a piece of art yourself. The work of an art appraiser is comparable to that of a real estate broker trying to put together the price for a home. True professionals research and analyze specific traits that you can associate with the piece, the background of the author, as well as the markets and trends for those types of art. This can include looking at figures like:
- The artist’s recent auction/sales history
- The size of the piece
- Ownership history
- Comparison with other works from the same artist
As you can see, it’s a lot more than you can tell by simply looking at the artwork or a basic Google search. In addition, if you want to base your knowledge on something like art price guides or databases, you may want to revisit them. While these are interesting, there’s a lot of things going on behind the scenes that lead to those prices, and there’s no guarantee that a price you see there will instantly apply to your art.
In addition, if you’re a novice to the art world, it’s also a good idea to try and use an appraiser or advisor to try and inspect art that you may be thinking about buying just before you bid. This is less about risk protection and more about making sure you don’t overbid on a piece that may not be as strong an investment as you think at first.