How to Find the Value of Artwork

How to Find the Value of Artwork

The value of artwork can be defined in several different ways. For example, several factors, such as personal taste and sentimental value, play a large role in determining the intrinsic value of your art. However, there are certain factors that you can take into account to determine the current market value of your artwork.


The current auction market plays a key role in determining value. Certain artists such as Pablo Picasso, Jean-Michel Basquiat, or Andy Warhol have very stable auction markets. This caliber of artist will always retain their market value over the years.

Artwork by up-and-coming artists or artists whose market value has risen very quickly, such as Julie Curtiss or Oscar Murillo, may have a more fluctuating value as their staying power in the auction market has not been tested over a long period of time.

Condition of Artwork

The condition of a piece of art plays a large role in its value. Artwork that is in pristine condition is certainly the most desirable. Any modifications, current damage, or past restoration can greatly decrease the value of artwork. The main factor that an auction house, art gallery, or dealer would consider is if the structural and artistic integrity of the work was upheld.

On the converse, taking artwork to a conservator and having it cleaned, can increase the value of the piece as it has been restored to its original condition. This type of work is often done in museums as they restore and clean a piece in order to get the work back to its original quality and integrity.

Provenance and Status

Provenance refers to the documentation that details the sale history and acquisition of the piece by the current owner. This documentation is not only important in terms of authentication. If artwork was owned by a prominent or well know individual or family, it can certainly increase the value. Whenever you buy art from an auction house or gallery, be sure to keep all documentation that was provided at the point of sale. This paperwork will be important if you ever try to resell the piece.

An easy way to tell if your artwork has even been sold at an auction house or art gallery is to look at the back of the work. If a piece has ever been sold through one of these avenues, there will be a small sticker on the back documenting where it has been sold. The appearance of these stickers and/ or documentation from an auction house or prominent gallery can also help confirm that the piece is genuine.

Rarity of Artwork

Rarity of artwork refers to how often the exact piece or similar pieces have come to auction. For instance, Pablo Picasso was a very prolific artist. He also created a large amount of editioned works on paper. While certain series are still very valuable, their values pale in comparison to that of a Picasso Cubist painting because they not as rare. Not only are Picasso paintings more valuable in regard to their material and the effort exerted, but also since a painting is a one of-a-kind piece.

A piece of art that has rarely or has never gone to auction before will certainly command a higher value as it is more exclusive. Even different Picasso paintings command different prices due to differing subject matter. While his Cubist paintings are his most popular and account for the majority of his highest auction sales, a painting from his Blue Period will still certainly sell at a high price considering pieces from that period rarely go to auction.

Art Market Conditions

After considering the above factors, it is also crucial to examine the current market. The art market is very fluid and can be quite volatile. Overall, the value of your artwork will depend on the current market conditions and fluctuating trends.

Where can I pawn or sell my artwork?

If you are looking to sell or loan against your fine art, please contact New York Loan Company at or at 212-997-5626. Additionally, we also purchase and lend against platinum or gold jewelry, signed jewelry, diamonds, and fine watches.

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How to Find the Value of Your Auction-Worthy Artwork
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New York Loan Company
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