How to get an evaluation

A Few Informal Notes on How to Evaluate Your Items

Village Antiques receives hundreds of queries every week asking for appraisals or evaluations of antiques and works of art. Unfortunately since this is not our line of business, and we cannot respond to these queries.

However, we are pleased to offer you below a few tips on how you might get started.

We will of course respond to queries about the price of items we currently have listed for sale. However to protect the confidentiallity of past buyers, we cannot provide you with the price of items that have already been sold.


Finding the Value of Works by Name Artists


There are a number of major art databases which provide auction results for artists. Keep in mind that auction results are often lower than gallery prices.

In addition, if you are hoping to sell to, or through a dealer or gallery, remember that the these professionals must preserve a profit margin. They will be undertaking the cost of marketing your item, and the risk that they will possibly hold it for some time before being able to find a buyer for it. For these reasons they will almost certainly offer you a price somewhat lower than listings you will find as the end price on gallery websites on the internet.


On-Line Auction Results Databases - Short term use options


AskArt - Offers an option to buy just one day off database use

ArtPrice - Offers an option to buy just 20 units of use.

In both cases, it is possible before purchasing the units, to search the databases to see if they contain any records on your artist. You can see how many records are there, but not the value of the works of art sold. You can then decide if you would like to invest in the units.



Auction Houses


Auction houses are an excellent source of expertise for your art, antiques and valuables. Major auction houses generally provide two types of valuation services, one of which is free and non-binding, and the other of which you must pay for.


If you are thinking of selling your work of art, most serious auction houses will give you a preliminary and non-binding estimate of its value. This estimate is not written, cannot be used for insurance purposes, and is provided to give you an idea of what the auction house believes it can get for your item so that you can decide whether to put it up for auction or not. Even if you are not immediately planning on selling your piece, this is an excellent way to get an education... and who knows, once you hear the evaluation, you may decide to sell.


Most major auction houses also provide formal written valuations for a fee. These are valuations which can be used for insurance, estates and other purposes.