The true value of a piece of art is, of course, subjective. A heartfelt portrait your friend painted for you might personally be worth ten times as much as a Warhol or Picasso, and there is nothing wrong with that. That said, art does also exist in the free market, and as such, you might find it will behoove you to hire an appraisal service in Maryland to find out the market price of an artwork you own (or would like to own). Here is a closer look at when to have art appraised, who to trust with the job and how to go about it:
- Insurance purposes: One of the most common reasons to have any belonging appraised is for insurance purposes. If your valuable artwork were to be suddenly stolen or damaged, you could not expect to see any compensation from your insurance agency unless you had already presented them with proof of how much the piece was worth.
- Your own work: If you are a professional artist, you will eventually need to go through the awkward but necessary process of having your own art appraised. An experienced Maryland appraisal service will help you figure out how much you can reasonably and confidently charge for your pieces.
- Avoid gallery appraisals: Whether you are trying to buy or sell a piece of art, you should always avoid having a gallery appraise the piece, or at least make sure you get a second opinion. A gallery will almost always have an ulterior motive, especially if they are the ones buying or selling the artwork in question.
- Avoid free appraisals: In nearly every area of life, you can avoid a lot of trouble by following this rule: if something seems “to good to be true,” it probably is. Free appraisals often come with a hook, whether that be undue pressure to buy a certain piece or hidden “additional fees” that can end up costing more than a paid appraisal.
- The three to five year rule: If you have your art appraised for insurance, tax or other estate purposes, you ought to remember to have it appraised every three to five years. Even if it has remained in the same condition, keep in mind that outside factors, such as an artist’s death or newfound success, can greatly alter a piece’s worth.
- Before buying: If you are interested in dropping some serious cash on a work of art, it is never a bad idea to have it independently appraised first. Reputable galleries will be happy to assist in the appraisal.
- Safe over sorry: For every minor masterpiece that turns up at a flea market, there is an unlucky former owner who threw the piece out when cleaning their garage. Don’t let that person be you. Before getting rid of any kind of art, invest in an appraisal so you can know for sure that you are not missing any important information.
For more information about art appraisals, please get in touch with Jane Campbell-Chambliss & Associates, LLC, your trusted appraisal service in Maryland.