Signed Paintings Are Worth Buying For

Do you know how important signatures are in an abstract art? Unless you’re buying contemporary paintings for pure pleasure or collection, a signed painting can make the difference in the piece being worth $100 vs. $10,000.

Assuming you’re new in buying art. You would want to start by looking for a signature o the painting you’re holding. It would be easy for you if you see a legible signature on it. However, sometimes signature, initials or monograms could be everywhere. You can see them on the lower right, lower left, center, underneath the frame, on the back and sometimes hidden in the stretcher.

If you think you have a wonderful abstract painting, don’t be afraid to take the frame off in search of a signature. Take a deep look at the painting in the sunlight and if you want you may also use a magnifying glass if you need to.

There are also times when the painting you’re holding may be signed Vincent, as in V€an Gogh. But most likely it’s not really a van Gogh. If you are a beginner, you would definitely have a hard time to tell which is which. Some of these reproductions are done on a raised cardboard with strokes that look really realistic.

As soon as you know who the artist is, consult a price guide and see if the artist is in there as well as what his paintings bring at auction. Professional dealers use comprehensive books such as, Art Price Index by Peter Falk or Art Sales Index edited by Duncan Hislop.

A well-informed buyer will always ask if the painter is a listed one and where. When we say listed, that person is somebody. Knowing his other sale results for paintings similar will give you one more measure of value. You may even consider offering your painting for sale in one of the auction houses listed.

There are also artist who used their initials in signing their art work like Tristan Ellis. This 20th century landscape artists his art pieces T.E. Another confusing area is using monogram to sign their work. To help you with this issue you may want to buy “The Classified Directory of Artist’s Signatures Symbols and Monograms” by H. H. Caplan. This book contains lists of artists in alphabetical order, their dates, specialty, and also offers examples of the monograms or initials they used.

As a beginner, remember to look for signed works by listed artists. It’s the safest way to go if someday you decide to re-sell the piece.

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