Many people consider the assessment of an artwork (artwork appraisal) to be a purely subjective exercise. Nothing could be further from the truth. In appraising an artwork, several factors must be considered: its period of production, its place in the artist’s body of work, its scarcity or availability on the market. The appraiser must also take into account how the artist’s work is selling as well the positive or negative market fluctuations.
As a result, after thorough research, the professional appraiser brings together all these criteria and also the work’s dimensions to establish with complete objectivity a most accurate value. However, the reason why someone asks for a professional evaluation determines straightaway the type of value that will be attributed. For example, the replacement value of a stolen work or a work destroyed during a disaster is not the same as its gallery value or what it can fetch at an auction.
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