How to Research and Evaluate Your Antique Art Collection

Posted on

Many people and institutions are interested in antique art for exhibition, purchase, sale, auction, and insurance purposes. In order to be considered for these purposes, each piece of antique art must be closely examined, verified, and appraised according to its age, condition, and artistic provenance. If you have antique art and you would like to find out if it is valuable, there are several things that you can do to research and verify its authenticity and value. Here are some ways that you can begin your research:  

Live Appraisal Events:  Look for live appraisal events, hosted by appraisers in your local area. Many times these events are associated with auction houses in the hope that you will put your antique art up for auction once you know its appraised value. There is usually a small fee to have your art appraised and another fee to offer your art for auction. If your antique art is purchased, the auction house will take a percentage of the selling price. Look for these live appraisal events in your local newspaper or in national newspapers and magazines. 

Online Appraisal Sites:  There are appraisal websites that specialize in appraising, buying, selling, and auctioning antique art. Some of these websites will appraise your antique art for a nominal fee so that, once you have your item appraised, you can then take advantage of their other services to sell, auction, or exhibit your antique art. 

Museums:  Many museums will examine your antique art to see if they are interested in it for exhibition or purchase. Art museums that have existed for many years have archival inventories of their own art and the art of many other international museums and institutions for comparison to your art. They can often give you an appraisal estimate of your art and then refer you to a certified appraiser in your area who can formally examine and appraise your art collection. 

National Auction Houses:  You can contact any of several national auction houses that operate in many cities who can appraise your antique art and give you a history of similar items that have come up for auction at their facilities. These auction houses have a long history of appraising and auctioning many kinds of art. They have a vast knowledge and many photographs of works that have existed for hundreds of years. Once they examine your antique art, they can formally appraise it or refer you to a certified appraiser who is an expert in the field. 

Certified Appraiser:  The best way to research and evaluate your antique art is to have it examined and appraised by an antique art appraiser that is certified by the International Society of Appraisers. They can refer you to one of their certified appraisers that has completed hundreds of hours of documented appraisals and is an expert in their field. Certified and Accredited Members of the International Society of Appraisers must pass certification and accreditation examinations very five years in order to retain their membership in this organization. 

Once your art has been formally appraised, it can be exhibited, auctioned, sold, and insured. Find out what you have in your antique art collection and share your art with the rest of the world. For more information, talk to a representative from the Chicago Appraisers Association.