Gallery Price Guide
|Every painting is priced to reflect the current
market value of works by the same artist
- or similar work by another artist of the
same accomplishment and period. Where included
in our listings, a Gallery Price Guide is
provided for artists whose works appear regularly
in the marketplace to give prospective buyers
a general appreciation of the price ranges
associated with these artists.
When judging the value of a painting, one must consider many factors. Primary among considerations is the quality and condition of the painting. Popularity of the artist with collectors is perhaps the second most important factor for pricing - basically, supply and demand. Other elements that affect the price of a painting include medium, subject, signature, inscriptions, size, framing, and provenance. The latter consideration is paramount when buying a painting or print of great value. Provenance may be partial or fragmentary, so there will be a degree of doubt if there is no written documentation to show ownership from the date of creation through all owners of the painting. Such "ironclad" evidence of ownership is rare, except for the priciest of paintings. Prior sale by a reputable auction house may validate one's own judgement, but does not of itself guarantee an accurate attribution.
The appeal of art is subjective. Price should be a secondary consideration! The only valid consideration in buying art should be that the object possess those qualities that bring pleasure in relationship to cost. The cost will always be relative to the ability of a buyer to pay, so there is really no way to price art independent of market forces. Therefore, buy what you like, and what you can afford, leaving analysis to the "experts" and investment considerations to those who value money more than art.
Buying at Auction
It is possible to buy art at auction for prices
below similar gallery items. Auctioneers
will charge the buyer a "premium",
however, which is commonly 15% but can be
as high as 25%. The consignor has been charged
a fee for selling, plus charges for insurance
and photography (if an image is included
in the catalog). These costs are likely to
be reflected in the "reserve" -
the price below which the painting will not
be sold. Dealers, on the other hand, acquire
much of their inventory through private transactions,
eliminating these "add on" expenses.
The auction represents the market at it's
most fundamental, so one can expect that
most lots will attract more than one potential
buyer. Expect the bidding to be active and
someone else to value an object at least
as much as you. NEVER bid before setting yourself an upper limit
and ALWAYS stop when that limit is reached!