Do you have long forgotten artwork lying around the attic or garage that was bought from a charity sale or thrift store that has been collecting dust? Maybe you have an old family heirloom that has been hanging on the wall for years. Either way, you probably want to have an idea of your piece’s value. This guide will give you practical advice on pricing your art and determining its worth. Selling antique paintings can be tricky business. Here at Orlando Estate Auction, we will go through the appraisal process for you, but if you would like to do some research beforehand, this guide will point you in the right direction. When in doubt, look to the opinion of a professional appraiser.
Original Watercolor or Print?
The first thing that needs to be determined when selling antique paintings is whether the piece is an original or a print. A quality print can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from a watercolor reprint, but here are a few guidelines to help you along the way.
IMPORTANT – Orlando Estate Auction recommends that you do not remove a piece of art from its frame. This will almost always devalue the piece.
- Use a clean magnifying glass to look at the picture in greater detail. You should be able to see variations in the surface of the artwork. Some areas might be bare of paint altogether.
- “Scratching out” is where the white of the paper is shown by literally scratching out the paint on the surface. Underneath, you may be able to identify pencils lines.
- Can small dots be identified on the surface? If so, it is extremely unlikely to be a watercolor.
- Printed signatures rarely look authentic, so be sure to check it for authenticity.
If you are unable to make the distinction, Orlando Estate Auction can help.
Do not despair if your picture turns out to be a print. When selling antique paintings, it is hard to gauge who is going to like what. Sometimes, low-value artwork strikes a chord with an individual in Orlando and fetches a decent price.
Print with Signature and Number
Not all prints are worthless. Limited edition prints by well-known artists typically fetch more than genuine paintings by unknown artists. A few etchings and old prints are very valuable. Selling antique paintings is mostly dependent on the artist, rarity, and condition.
An example of a valuable print would be some of the earliest woodcuts. They tend to be more simplistic than modern, more complicated lithographic prints. Many dated Japanese prints were created this way and are highly collectible.
Since etchings are typically created by the artist himself using a specialized method, they tend to be highly sought after. They have been around since the 16th century and are considered works of art in their own right. Selling antique paintings can be a lucrative business when dealing with etchings.
A quality oil painting will have a depth and softness to it that is a result of the paint being built up in layers. Modern print techniques are so sophisticated that prints are now available on canvas and will often mimic brushstrokes. This can make it difficult to distinguish a genuine oil piece from a print. However, a close examination will soon sort things out. Here are a few ways to tell one from another when selling antique paintings in Orlando:
- Oil prints will have a noticeable uniform finish, even the ones with fake brushstrokes.
- Quality oil paintings will typically be paired with a quality frame. Older frames will be heavier, especially when they are ornately carved. Modern frames will usually be put together with a staple gun and are almost always significantly lighter.
- Examine the back of your artwork for clues such as old labels and auction numbers. Penciled or chalked numbers on the backside of the canvas usually indicate that the piece has been through one or more auctions.
Selling Antique Paintings at Orlando Estate Auction
If you have researched your artwork, and think it is reasonably valuable, then it is time to come to Orlando Estate Auction to get it sold. We have streamlined what many see as a complicated process. With us, you can rest assured that, in less than two weeks, you will have gotten rid of your unwanted artwork in exchange for a check.
For selling antique paintings in a liquidation auction call Orlando Estate Auction today at 407-290-1000. We look forward to hearing from you!