Probate Valuations for Art

Pete Liggins
July 20, 2023
Obtaining accurate probate valuations for art make certain that works correctly declared for inheritance tax purposes.

When dealing with estate planning, probate, or potential sale, determining an accurate valuation of any bequeathed art is crucial, this includes paintings, sculptures, and other works of art. Even if you believe that certain pieces have no significant value, the safest way to ensure that all works are declared correctly is to obtain a valuation from an impartial expert who will provide an accurate assessment. 

Determining the value of these pieces requires expertise and knowledge in both art history and market trends, with careful consideration of several qualities... 

  • The artist – signed or unsigned
  • The medium used – oil, acrylic, watercolour, gouache, drawing or print 
  • The type of canvas or panel 
  • The subject matter 
  • The visual appeal 

All considerations will assist in putting together a clearer picture of what you are looking at. Indeed, a signed Picasso on paper is worth more than an oil painting by an unknown artist. 

Art valuers with experience can provide accurate appraisals based on factors such as artist reputationrarityprovenance, and current market demand. Valuing art for probate purposes involves thorough research and analysis. Experts consider various aspects including…

  • The artist's significance within the period
  • Their contribution to the art movement of that time
  • The visual appeal of the work 
  • Any notable exhibitions or awards the artist may have received

There has been a strong increase in demand for works of art, with many collectors becoming more informed and educated, as well as an increased trend of diversifying investment portfolios.

Additionally, other factors play a significant role in determining value…

  • Condition - The presence of any damage or restoration work can affect an artwork's worth Provenance is crucial as it establishes authenticity and adds historical context to the piece 
  • Colour pallets - Some are more coveted than others
  • The size of a work will affect the overall valuation
  • The frame will also influence the potential value, indeed sometimes they are more valuable than the artwork itself
  • Market trends - The 19th and 20th century British art movement has become increasingly popular, meaning values of these works are a lot higher than they were forty years ago. Indeed, the global demand for British art is flourishing

By engaging professionals, like Dawsons, who specialise in probate valuation for art and artworks, executors can make certain that accurate valuations are obtained and correctly declared for inheritance tax purposes. Whilst an accurate valuation also ensures fairness during estate distribution while also preserving the legacy left behind by these talented artists.

Dawsons expert valuation team would also be able to offer advice on the most suitable options for selling, whether it be through auction to a global audience, or directly to a private buyer if the artwork has a specific niche appeal.

If you require an expert valuation, please get in touch today, we would be delighted to help you.

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