How to buy fine art correctly


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How to buy fine art correctly

  1. 1. ==== ====Are you an art lover? Would you like to become one? Nothing to buy, simply enjoy art at: ====To the uninitiated the prospect of buying fine art for investment can be as daunting as being askedto paint the Sistine Chapel or construct St Pauls Cathedral out of match sticks. A glimpse of theplush interiors of the major auction houses or trip to one of central Londons sometimesintimidating galleries can give the casual visitor second thoughts about purchasing a piece of art.Alternatively the individual might be unsure about the value or authenticity of the painting ordrawing they are proposing to buy, but press ahead with the transaction anyway on the principlethat they may not know much about art, but they know what they like. And the gallery assistanthas gone to all this trouble and seems to know what theyre talking about, so it would be churlishto pull out now.The best way to make the subjective practice of buying a piece of fine art is to be as objective aspossible. In other words, to ensure that you get what you pay for, it is worthwhile learning a bitmore about how the art market works and gathering as much information about the particular artistor style or period that you are interested in as you can. There are two principle ways of doing this.You can research the artists output and historical significance in art books and exhibitioncatalogues or read reviews by local and national art critics, and you can look through the salesrecords available in most major public libraries and art galleries to determine how much their workgoes for.A natural place to start researching price would be with the seller of the piece you are interestedin. Judge whether the artist has a track record of selling works of art similar to the piece you likefor amounts comparable to what youre being asked to pay. A reputable dealer should have thisinformation on file and be willing to discuss it with you; any reluctance to do so suggests that theyhave something to hide either about the piece or the amount they are asking for it. As anadditional measure, it is worth reviewing the artists general sales history over the past five yearsto determine that their price has remained consistent, paying particular attention to the averageprice fetched.Once you have established the price that the artist sells for, the research you have done abouttheir life and output should give you an indication of the significance, and relative value, of thepiece you are interested in. Is the piece a typical or atypical example of the artists output? Is itfrom the artists mature period or an early work which indicates how the artists mature styleevolved (bear in mind that the majority of an artists earliest pieces are usually in museums orprivate hands, so invariably sell for a higher than usual price when they come onto the market)?Does it have any special significance in the artists life or interesting stories associated with it? Hasit ever been discussed in print by experts or the artist themselves?This investigation should also include uncovering its provenance, exhibition history and ownershiphistory. As human beings require a passport to move from country to country, so do works of art,
  2. 2. and the gallery should be able to provide you with the necessary certificates of authenticity. Thereare a number of areas to be mindful of, though, including the extent to which the individuals whoauthenticate or attribute the art to a particular artist are qualified to do so. Unless their authority isbacked by some professional association with the artist, such as publishing papers in respectedjournals, curating museum or major gallery shows or having an extensive experience of trading inthem, then their opinion is not worth a great deal. Alternatively they could be relatives, employeesor descendants of the artist or have some form of legal or estate-granted entitlement to passjudgment on the work of art. And if the artist is alive, dont hesitate to ask the gallery to get in touchwith them in person to confirm that the art is authentic.A further issue to consider is whether the art is original or reproduced by mechanical means,because one of the principle ways art dealers make money is by trading in limited edition prints,where the artists only input in the creative process has been signing a digital or photographic copyof the original. A thorough investigation of the piece, combined with asking questions about it,should uncover this, with the added benefit of revealing how much the seller knows about whatthey are selling. When you are happy with the asking price and ready to buy, ensure you get adetailed receipt describing the art and its condition and including a money back guarantee toprotect you if, at any point in the future, you find out that the art was not properly represented. Thisreceipt should be in addition to the other documentation that the seller provides relating to the artshistory, provenance and authenticity.But before getting to this point, theres the issue of which places you should look to source the art.The first piece of advice here is to have a clear idea of the type of art work you want and set afixed price above which you will not go. Having done that, it makes sense to throw your net aswide as possible and explore all avenues, with particular focus on the following three options:oAuction Houses. This can include anything from the local auction house in your area to the bigauction houses in London. Naturally, the more prestigious the auctioneer is, the greaterconfidence you can have in the authenticity of the piece of art, and the higher the price can go.Bear in mind also that auction houses use presale estimates, reserves, and opening bid amountswhich should give you a rough idea of the amount the piece might go for, though when it comes toauction time, pretty much anything goes, so you should have your wits about you as you bidagainst experts in the field.oArt Galleries. As has been previously mentioned, walking into an art gallery can be a dauntingexperience. But just remember one thing: all the gallerys show of respectability and wealth, fromthe good address to the soft furnishings and discreet light fittings, has been built from selling fineart to its customers. In other words, when you buy a painting from a gallery, youre paying not onlyfor the painting but the well appointed environment which gave you the confidence to buy it in thefirst place. Also, as much as a good gallery may have the necessary expertise to tell you all aboutthe painting you are proposing to buy, they also know how to spot an amateur collector andpersuade them to buy a piece they are not a hundred percent sure about.oInternet. While sites like eBay carry obvious risks about the provenance and condition of thepiece of fine art you are thinking of buying, established, authenticated sellers have several obviousadvantages to more conventional ways of buying art. Above all, of course, because there is noactual gallery space, you are not subsidising their rent when you buy from them. And once youhave found a piece of art that catches your eye you can do all the necessary research about it in
  3. 3. your own time without anybody standing over you attempting to influence your decision, in additionto getting a second opinion about it from anyone with access to a computer and the internet.Of these options, buying art online is becoming the most popular due to the advantages outlinedabove. But which site to visit first to look into the kind of art that is available? Well, you could do alot worse than to have a look through, the UKs premier fine art trading website,which has a tremendous variety of pieces on sale at all prices. These can be reviewed in thecomfort of your own home to scale against a virtual wall and with reference to a colour chart todetermine how they might look against various backgrounds. And if you particularly like the piece,you can also check out the other pieces the seller has for sale, all without the pressure of havinganyone look over your shoulder. Paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures and ceramics are allcategorised into styles and national schools for easy searching, or you can simply key in yourfavourite painter to see if any of their work is up for sale on the site. But dont despair if theyre not,because Artbank will send you an email to notify you whenever a piece by them comes up.The beauty of Artbank is that if there is a particular piece you like, you will be able to contact theseller directly to negotiate the price and arrange shipping and handling, because Artbank onlycharges a fee for using the site. There is no middle man like there is with auction houses and nopart of the sale price is being used to pay the rent. In other words, Artbank is the best of bothworlds, whilst also offering you the kind of choice and variety that no bricks and mortar gallery cancompete with.Whatever way you choose to buy fine art, though, always ensure that the art has the necessarydocumentation to authenticate it and is being sold in line with the current market value. Whoknows, maybe you have the makings of being the next Peggy Guggenheim, but whatever youraspirations, have fun and the best of luck in getting the piece of art you really love!Artbank is an online fine art gallery and trading website where quality art is sold by art galleries,art dealers and private/corporate individuals and collectors. Artbank provides a platform whereartists can display, promote and sell their art.Article Source: ====Are you an art lover? Would you like to become one? Nothing to buy, simply enjoy art at:
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