CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) - We are still buying pictures as usual at Robert Perera Fine Art during this challenging time. Contact us at or 01590 678230

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How We Value Your Art

How to value art - Art Buyer - Robert Perera Fine Art Ltd.What do we look for in your paintings and prints? 

To determine an art valuation for your work of art, in the current art market, demands experience and research. We look at the history of the painting, the artist, subject and current demand, to determine a range of prices and worth if sold to a collector. Our art gallery uses some of the most up to date systems and art market data.

There are 6 key factors for valuing your art

  1. Artist [ R.A. member?]
  2. Subject
  3. Condition
  4. Provenance
  5. Restoration
  6. The current market

We also need to establish that it is an original painting or print and not a reproduction or fake!

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1. Artist

How to Value art - We look at the artist - Robert Perera Fine Art Buyer

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.

2. Subject

We will consider any subject but ideally we are looking for typical subjects from a particular artist which collectors prefer.

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 or interesting people or of historical interest. 

Landscapes ideally need to be of known places. Figures and animals add interest to a composition.

How to Value art - We look at the subject - Robert Perera Fine Art Buyer

Subjects are commercially important as collectors favour subjects they have an association with.

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3. Condition

Oil paintings and their signatures are inspected using various techniques including UV light in our art gallery studio to check for overpainting and later editions.

The reverse of a painting can also be revealing as we can usually determine more from the back of a painting than the front!

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; i.e. bonded to a second canvas; and if there have been any repairs, restorations or overpainting.

How to Value art - We look at the condition - Robert Perera Fine Art Buyer

4. Provenance

For all pictures we research the provenance and history 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 sold and seen on the open market or auction which can affect an art valuation.

How to Value art - We look at the provenance - Robert Perera Fine Art Buyer

Original provenance label from an Edward Seago painting.

5. Restoration

We consider the cost of returning the work of art to gallery condition if required. This may include sympathetic conservation including frame restoration or reframing with conservation acid free materials.

Oil Painting Restoration - Sell art to Robert Perera Fine Art Ltd.

1750’s portrait showing overpainting and previous restoration.

6. The current market

Art markets and art prices go up and down with the economy, fashion and supply. At the time of writing the country is negotiating BREXIT which is effecting most markets. Current exhibition and historical anniversaries and centenaries increase interest, values and demand. The passing of an artist often increase worth for a while but usually then return to a normal range. 

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With our experience and research we can assess how these factors affect your painting at a particular point in time.