When thinking about building up an art collection, or even just seeking that perfect statement piece for your wall, buying at auction can be a really cost-effective option. Not only is auction usually more affordable than buying from a gallery, but it is a very transparent method to see what other buyers and the market as a whole is prepared to pay for that artist’s work.
One of the most important considerations when looking to buy an art piece is to trust your own judgement. Buy something that you actually like! Art by nature is subjective, if it is going to hang on your wall, you need to choose something that you connect with and want to look at every day.
Three key things I would always advise anyone to consider about an artwork before reaching for their wallet; Condition, Provenance and Rarity.
The condition of a painting is inherently important to its value, the better preserved the more it is worth and issues such a damage, deterioration or bad restoration will decrease the value of the artwork. Our experts are trained to spot such issues and will happily provide a free condition report for any item before auction.
Provenance is exceptionally important for any art piece in terms of value and desirability. Provenance is essentially the biography of a painting, telling us where it has been or who has owned it, stretching all the way back to the artist themselves. If the painting has previously been within a reputable or significant collection this can add weight to the authenticity of the piece and therefore enable buyers to bid with confidence. Especially when dealing with artists who are much copied, sound provenance can help prove that an art piece is genuine.
The rarity of an item is also a significant consideration. If the work is an original piece, then its uniqueness is inherent to its higher value. Bidders seek the exceptional and the scarce, they are not afraid to bid high to secure it. When looking to invest in limited edition prints for example, consider how large the edition is, it could be as many as 1,000 or as few as 5. The lower the edition size, the more desirable on the market, as there are less pieces in circulation.
Halls Modern and Contemporary Art specialist Abigail Molenaar is on hand to offer you free advice on buying art at auction and getting started with creating your Modern Art collection. Or if you are looking to sell, get in touch for a free valuation appointment and see how much your pieces could be worth. Halls Fine Art’s next Modern and Contemporary Art timed auction will be held 13th - 31st October 2023.
The Modern and Contemporary Art department hosts multiple specialist auctions each year focused on contemporary paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and multiples as well as single-owner collection sales. Our specialist Abigail Molenaar has been here since the inception of the Modern and Contemporary department having joined the company to head these sales and has seen them grow in size and success year upon year.
The department covers all major modern art movements and mediums, with consistently strong sales results for 20th-21st century paintings, contemporary sculpture, limited edition prints, as well as contemporary photography and drawings. Abigail has a keen interest in Abstract art and sculpture, Welsh art and Modern British art and has built up a reputation for art sales for artists such as David Hockney, Pablo Picasso, Terry Frost, Graham Sutherland, Barbara Hepworth, Eduardo Paolozzi, Kyffin Williams and L.S. Lowry to name a few.
Halls is the leading Modern and Contemporary Art department in the region and we have the knowledge and expertise to research, value and promote artworks for auction. Abigail holds in-house valuation appointments every week, offers online consultations or home visits to suit you, please do get in touch for advice on your art or to enquire into future auctions.