Remember that $ 5 painting by David Bowie? Have you ever wondered what this family piece of art is really worth?

The popularity and history of the artist is the most important element in determining the value

Last summer we told you a story where a David Bowie painting, bought at a thrift store for $ 5, sold for $ 108,120.

Have you ever wondered if something similar is lurking in your house?

See: David Bowie’s painting bought for five dollars in South River sets record, selling for over $ 100,000

Iconic David Bowie’s painting, titled DHead XLVI, set a world auction record for the artist. While stories of exciting discoveries are not common, they do happen.

How do you know if a legacy painting hidden in storage has a value? Before giving it away or selling it at a garage sale, do some research.

Canadian art experts and fine art auctioneers Cowley Abbott have met many art owners at their free appraisal events who are shocked to find they have a significant piece of work that is worth a lot of money .

“Valuable works of art can be found in the most unexpected places,” says Lydia Abbott, vice president of Cowley Abbott. “We often come across a significant piece of art that has been inherited or has been in a family home for many years without the owners knowing anything about the artist or the value of the work. ”

To explain why a specific work of art by an artist is more valuable than others and to make buying art accessible, Cowley Abbott shares tips and factors to consider when buying or purchasing. the sale of art.

When shopping for the first time, it is important to find out your style. Art is an investment, but it must create an emotional or personal connection and be pleasant to the eye. Stroll through an art museum to discover your preferences and explore a variety of styles, genres and mediums.

Consider the space and take action. You can fall in love with a room, but if it doesn’t suit your space, buying it can be impractical.

Establish a budget. Affordability, investment and future value are factors to consider. Auctions reflect the secondary market for an artist and may present realistic expectations for future resale, but like all investments, there is no guarantee that a given work will increase in value.

Do your research. Before buying, talk to a specialist and visit a few auctions, in person or online, as this helps to understand the buying process, market trends and the artists and works that are of interest to collectors. .

Understanding the aspects that impact value helps ensure that potential buyers or sellers get fair prices in the market. There are 10 key factors that help scholars determine value – what Cowley Abbott calls “the 10 commandments of art valuation”.

The popularity and history of the artist is the most important element in determining value.

The most popular subjects of an artist have greater value. A landscape from a member of the Group of Seven – which they are known for – will cost more than a still life.

Cut also plays a role. Larger works of art tend to be more expensive; Nevertheless; the value will generally decrease for oversized parts. Wall space is an important factor, marking very large art that is difficult to place and of less interest in the market.

Some mediums, such as an oil or acrylic canvas will often have an exponentially higher value. Works on paper, such as drawings, watercolors, and prints, offer a lower financial entry point and are a great option for new collectors who want to own an original or a print by a prominent artist.

Association: well-known works of art that have been presented in museums, exhibitions, important collections or books generally sell for more.

Period: a work of art from an artist’s “first period” will often be worth more.

Quality: an artist’s signature work that was created in his studio will often attract more interest and value than a quick pencil sketch that could have been done as a demonstration.

State: a damaged or poorly restored work of art tends to have a lower value than a work in perfect condition. Request a condition report to take into account future conservation or restoration requirements.

Scarcity can help increase the value of a work of art, but it can also mean a smaller pool of interest. For example, a rare sketch for a large painting would have increased the value; but scarcity can also have a negative effect, such as a floral still life by an artist famous for his abstractions. Both are rare, but can lead to very different valuations.

Fashion reflects the artists, schools and movements that are currently popular. For example, the 2016 release Maudie, the film about the life of painter Maud Lewis, skyrocketed the value of her work at auction, resulting in record sales.

These factors are guidelines for understanding the value and driving forces of market trends. For anyone curious to learn more about a painting, print or sculpture they own, Cowley Abbott offers complimentary, confidential, no-obligation preliminary auction evaluations by contacting [email protected]


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