With a little research you can learn how to determine if your artwork is valuable or worth very little. First consult price guides to determine current sale and auction prices.
Most auction houses will give you a rough estimate of what the item is likely to sell for.
How to tell if an old painting is worth money. Examine a print or painting with a loupe or magnifying glass of at least 10x magnification. These markings can help you trace the painting s provenance or history. Look for tiny dots of equal size uniformly distributed across the picture.
Examine the back of the painting for sales receipts or exhibition stamps. First make sure it an original rather than a copy or a print. Compare the two estimates.
Often the easiest way to tell if a painting is authentic or not is to look for the artist s signature on the front or back side. Search the internet for antiques and collectibles auction houses in your area then contact them to find out whether they specialise in art. Consider the subject matter.
This is an ideal way to market an old painting or a painting by a well known artist. If you know the provenance you can determine who sold the painting the sales date and the previous sales price. Historically portraits of beautiful women have sold for more money than paintings of men.
Ask for a second opinion from a different appraiser after you receive your initial estimate. In particular look for a signature that was hand written or added to the piece using paint. The subject matter of the painting even plays a factor in how much the painting is worth.
Examine the piece with a magnifying glass to determine whether it was painted or printed. Certain limited edition prints are worth more than normal prints. Ask this appraiser also for a written signed declaration of the painting s worth.
Specialized university or art museum libraries and larger public libraries often carry these guides. Someone will have to pay more to touch the painting up. Check the painting for markings and signatures.
Some price guides are available on the internet but most come in books or offline formats. If it is a print it may still be worth something. If the paint has also faded you may not be able to get as much money for it.
Look for the artist s original signature. Ask the appraiser for a written signed declaration of the painting s worth.