How to Sell Your Artwork at Higher Prices


Whether you’ve inherited it, found it in a basement or purchased it for a song at an estate sale, many people happen upon antique art that has the potential to fetch a tidy sum if sold to the right person. The problem you may have is that you have no idea how much your work of art is worth and what you can do to leverage that worth to fetch an even higher price upon its sale. The question then is where to sell art to maximize its value.

What Buyers Look For

Selling antique art is slightly different than selling antique furniture, toys or memorabilia. Items other than art have a specific base value which increases or decreases based solely on the condition of the piece. Antique art, on the other hand, is valued with a different criterion. Obviously the condition comes into play and if it is framed art, the condition of the frame can also add value if it, too, is an antique. But art is also valued based on the artist who created the piece so the authenticity of the piece is inherent to its valuation.

Antique Art

Someone who buys antique art will be very careful about what they purchase and from whom, as antique art can potentially cost quite a bit. Though you can potentially sell it on a personal website or on eBay, if you want to get the highest price possible, you should consider having it appraised before you decide to list it. Most antique art buyers will insist on an appraisal before they will purchase it unless one was already performed by a reputable appraiser. They are also unlikely to pay top dollar for a piece that’s listed on eBay, they would be going there to look for bargains being sold by inexperienced people.

How Do You Sell Your Art?

First and foremost, gather all of the information you can about the piece. If it was passed down through your family, try to trace the piece back as far as you can to establish what is known as the provenance. Provenance, in simple terms, is the chain of ownership or custody of a piece of art. Tracing its ownership, which includes its location and places of storage, can help to establish circumstantial evidence of its production and thereby its authenticity. The signature of an artist is insufficient for this as art forgeries are frequently artists that are as talented as the masters themselves.

antique art forgery

Antique art buyers are either those that collect art or those that sell it. Art collectors generally collect certain styles of art or the work of certain artists. Museums also purchase art for their collections. If you know of a museum that has a collection of the work your artist produced, you could approach them and see if they are interested.

Art sellers, on the other hand, could be auction houses, art dealers, or art galleries. Your best bet to get the highest price is to approach an auction house in Nokomis, Tampa or Venice and ask if they would consider selling it. They will do an appraisal first to determine its authenticity and potential market value. Most auction houses will do this at little or no cost to you. Once you have the appraisal, you can have them sell it on consignment for you and you can also list it yourself while they are listing it. Now that you know what it’s worth, you can confidently request no less than that amount.

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