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What is My Art Worth?

How to Value Art in 3 Easy Steps

First; check the list of valuable fine art below, second; lookup the value of similar artwork sold by Heritage Auctions, and third; request a free appraisal of your original paintings, drawing and sculptures.

1

List of Valuable Artwork

This list shows the artwork that Heritage Auctions sells. There are some items we do not sell. For those we suggest you sell on a site such as eBay. Read more

This list shows the artwork that Heritage Auctions sells. There are some items we do not sell. For those we suggest you sell on a site such as eBay.

YES
  • Original paintings, sculptures, drawings and sketches by emerging and known artists
  • Illustrations
  • Glass art
  • Decorative art and antique furniture
  • Asian art
  • Ceramics and porcelain
NO
  • Commercial figurines (e.g. Hummell, Lladro)
  • Posters of art
  • Post-war Asian objects
  • Reproductions
  • Paintings on velvet
2

How to Value Your Original Artwork

Browse auction archives for actual selling price of art. Sort and browse through thousands of past auctions to find actual selling prices in our fine and decorative art. Read more

Browse auction archives for actual selling price of art. Sort and browse through thousands of past auctions to find actual selling prices in our fine and decorative art.

How to Value Paintings and Sculptures - 5 things to need to know to value art:

  • Is it original?
    Are you certain you have an original painting or sculpture? An original print would be signed and/or numbered. Reproductions, including posters of art, are not handled by Heritage.
  • Can the artist be identified?
    Thoroughly examine the artwork for any signatures, initials, inscriptions or other markings that indicate the name of the artist (or maker in the case of decorative arts). This information is not always front-and-center; check the bottoms and back sides as well. You may wish to get the assistance of a framer or restorer to look under linings and frames, if that's possible to do without causing damage. With the artist identified, there are several resources, both online and off, which you can consult to learn more about him or her and get a rough idea of their work's importance, including recent sales of the artist's work, museums and galleries with the artist's work in their possession, etc.
  • What condition is it in?
    Is there any visible damage? Any areas of visible repair? Is the color strong or faded? Is it dirty or clean? Again, you may wish to get the opinion of a restorer. (DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DO ANY RESTORATION/CONSERVATION WORK YOURSELF.) Often, works that have never been touched, though dirty and in need of repair, have more value than ones that have been. 
  • How was it acquired?
    Did you obtain it directly from the artist or from a dealer/gallery/auction house? Was it inherited? Do you have any documentation to verify how it was acquired?
  • What other details do you know?
    Dimensions, date, title, medium (the materials it's made of), historical provenance (chain of ownership), etc. are all facts which, when documented, can help determine the value of an artwork. Work from a certain period in the artist's life, for example, might be more valuable than that from other periods; the same could be said for working in a medium or size that was not the norm for the artist.

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3

Value my painting online. Get an auction estimate of fine art

Ready to sell your valuable artwork? With the above information in hand, please complete the Free Auction Evaluation Form. Read more

Ready to sell your valuable artwork? With the above information in hand, please complete the Free Auction Evaluation Form.

We will do our best to respond within a few business days. An auction estimate is the likely value your artwork would obtain in a Heritage auction.

Free Auction Estimate

If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning, insurance, etc., please contact our Appraisal Services Department. Charges for formal written appraisals are based on our experts' time. Appraisal fee schedule can be viewed here.


Headshot photo of Meagen McMillan

Meet our expert: Meagen McMillan

Inquiries Coordinator
1-877-HERITAGE (877-437-4824)  x1444

View Biography

Graduating summa cum laude from Sewanee University of the South, Meagen McMillan quickly rose to Junior Specialist in American Art after joining the Heritage Auctions team in 2014. Meagen’s experience from Consignment Coordinator to Fine Art Cataloger and now Junior Specialist gave her a thorough understanding of the auction industry. With a background in Archaeology and Historical Preservation, she firmly believes in being a good steward by guiding artwork and its consignors through the auction process. A love of American history and literature led Meagen to specialize in Western and Illustration Art. One of Meagen’s strength is building strong relationships with clients, collectors, and the broader art community.


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