What do we look for in your paintings and prints? The three keys to valuing a painting are artist, subject and condition. We also need to establish that it is an original painting or print and not a reproduction or fake.
We are looking for a variety of artists. In general, most artists have had formal art training at art collage or in the studio of professional artists. They may have attended some of the leading art schools in the country or abroad including Royal Academy Schools, Royal College of Art, Goldsmiths, The Slade, Saint Martins.
Most would then go on to exhibit at the London academies depending on their interest and media. These include the Royal Academy, The New English Art Club, Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Royal Society of British Artists, Royal Society of Marine Artists, Royal Society of Portrait Painters, The Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers and the Society of Wildlife Artists to name a few.
There are of course many artists who do not fit this mould with some being self taught and untrained or who simply paint for enjoyment or to make a living.
We will consider any subject but ideally we are looking for typical subjects from a particular artist. For marine painting well known landmarks and famous ships and yachts are more desirable than boats on an open sea or near an unidentified cost.
Portraits need to be of important people or of historical interest and landscapes ideally need to be of known places. Figures and animals add interest to a composition.
Paintings and their signatures are inspected using various techniques including UV light to check for overpainting and later editions. The reverse of a painting can also be revealing as we can usually tell more from the back of a painting than the front!
For all pictures we research the provenance of the item from exhibition labels and supporting documentation. We search for previous sale data, exhibitions, gallery catalogues and the Art Loss Register. We also check when it was last seen on the open market or auction which can affect its value.
For etchings and water colours we are looking for acid staining, fading, fox and iron marks, rips, tears, surface damage and worm holes. We also look to see if the artwork has been glued to the mount and backing.
For oil paintings, condition and stability of paintwork is important. We look to see if a canvas has been relined; for example bonded to a second canvas; and if there have been any repairs, restorations or overpainting.
Our final consideration will be the cost of returning the artwork to gallery condition if required. This may include sympathetic conservation including frame restoration or reframing with conservation acid free materials.
William Lee Hankey (1869-1952)
Henry Scott Tuke (1858-1929)
Eileen Soper (1905-1990)