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How to Find the Value of Old Paintings?

You want to estimate the price of a painting? Classical or modern, a few preliminary steps are necessary before selling a painting in order to estimate its value.  You will find below an exhaustive list of the elements studied by Mister Expert’s specialists and experts.

Is there a market for the painting?

Depending on the artist who painted the painting, there may be existing market demand. The sale price of a painting depends on the artist’s popularity amongst collectors. By carrying out some research online, you can get a general idea of the painting’s value. Though, do not forget that determining the value of a work of art is first of all the work of a professional. To receive a more detailed appraisal, it is therefore recommended that you contact a professional estimate service which will be able to give you a precise indication of the current market for the artist.

The painting’s authenticity

During the 19th and 20th Centuries, reproduction techniques improved and became more widespread. As a result, the Art market is polluted by a large number of reproductions and even counterfeit paintings. A main component in determining the value of a painting is therefore establishing its authenticity.

To analyse it, we will observe:

  • The painting’s age
  • The materials used, including those used in the frame
  • Its structure and the aging process of its elements.

For example, if a painting is painted on an oak wood panel, it is likely to be from the 17th Century – a mahogany from the 19th Century, a copper panel from the 17th Century, etc. For the canvas, its weaving is observed: a coarse weave will likely correspond to the 17th century, a regular weave to the 18th century, and a very fine quality of canvas to the 19th century, etc.

Gilding and framework

The gilding of a painting is also an important source of information that helps value a work. The use of a mixture of Meudon white, ochre whitewashes and gold leaf, brings, for example, an added value. When an appraisal is made of the painting, the authenticity can also be measured by the cracked state of the gilding. If it is in perfect condition, it is probably a fake. The assembly of the frame also makes it possible to determine the age of the painting. The works of the 17th and 18th centuries are often assembled with a wooden key that connects the different sides of the frames.

The painting’s frame

Depending on the frame style and on the material used, we can also measure its period of manufacture. The Louis XIII style was widely used in the 17th Century and frames in this style are often characterised by an ornamental pattern containing fruits or flowers.

Also, the Louis XIV frames are characterised by their symmetrical decoration whilst sculpted angles often relate to the classicism era.

Only via a professional appraisal are you able to observe these details and receive the correct evaluation of the period from which a frame dates.

For a free appraisal, you can fill out the Mr Expert online form. We will provide you with a response to help you sell your painting at the best possible price.

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