Posted by & filed under Cowley Abbott Updates.

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Consignor regularly receives contact from clients, looking to receive guidance regarding the possible valuation of their artwork.  It is our pleasure to be of service in providing preliminary “verbal” auction estimates at no charge, based on the auction market for comparable works of art.  

If you are interested in speaking with our specialists and engaging in this confidential and complimentary process, we recommend that you gather certain pertinent details regarding your artwork to assist our team in providing you with the highest (and most accurate) level of initial service.

The following questions will help provide you with some direction through the preliminary steps in the valuation process with our firm.


1. Who is the artist of your artwork?

Examine the front and reverse sides of the artwork, looking for a signature from the artist and/or potentially a notation which might 

be present on a gallery or exhibition label.  The identity of the artist is an important valuation factor for our specialists as it allows us 

to compare the artwork directly with other works by the artist which have appeared at auction.


2. What is the title of the artwork?

Not all works of art will have a title noted, however, when present, it will routinely be noted on the reverse of the artwork. The title is sometimes found inscribed on the reverse side or printed on a gallery or exhibition label on the backing of the artwork. While not vital in providing a valuation, the title can assist our specialists in providing specific details related to the subject matter (which can sometimes affect the preliminary auction value of the artwork).


3. What is the medium of the artwork?

Is the work of art an oil painting (on canvas or board), a watercolour, a print, a sculpture or an alternate medium?  The medium plays an important role towards the potential value of the artwork, making this detail important.  As well, is the artwork numbered?  This detail can assist our specialists in determining if your work might be a type of print.


4. What is the size of the artwork?

Please measure the artwork in inches (height and width for two dimensional works of art; height, width and depth for three dimensional pieces). For two-dimensional works of art, your measurement should be restricted to the artwork itself, omitting the area of the framing.


5. What are the details visible on the reverse of the artwork?

As noted above, the reverse side of an artwork can sometimes provide a great deal of supplemental information regarding an artwork’s identity and history.  Please note any markings and/or labels you may find on the reverse of the artwork.  Gallery and exhibition labels can help to provide details regarding the past sale or exhibition history, factors which can affect the preliminary auction value of your artwork.


6. How did you acquire the work and are there any ownership details which you were provided through the source of acquisition of the artwork?

Did you personally acquire the artwork?  Did you purchase the piece through a gallery, auction or a private sale?  Did you acquire the artwork as a gift or by descent through your family?  Did the source of the artwork provide you with any details related to the artwork and its history?  The ownership history (or provenance) of an artwork can assist our specialists greatly in providing an accurate preliminary auction valuation.


These are some of the important areas of information which can greatly assist our specialists in providing you with an accurate preliminary auction estimate for your artwork, the earliest step towards a potential consignment to one of our auctions.


We look forward to hearing from you and to being of service!