The following painting was brought into the lab because it had couple complications: It contained several dents and tears towards the middle and in the lower right hand corner and it was also it was cracking badly.
These dents and rips should have been avoided if it was taken care of properly! This kind of damage was more likely caused by storing it carelessly and obviously leaning things against it without some kind of protection.
Should anyone be treating a $15,000 painting like this???
or.. what if it was a painting of your someone you really cared about? Would you have taken care of it properly?
As alarming as these problems are, the painting is not flaking or coming apart immediately: there is no emergency action needed to save the painting. So if are these problems don’t get taken care of right away, all will not be lost. Damage in the form of cracking is now in the process of forming and becoming evident. Care and protection can still be useful if it can’t be restored right away.
If the painting were actively flaking (losing paint) then instant action would be suggested. If there is enough paint loss, it could make the value of the painting worth less (impact the value). But this action requires spending some money… this will require an “informed” decision. You’ll need some details/facts.
For instance, the original owner of this painting didn’t want to spend any money on this painting to fix it or clean it and she didn’t want to get the facts or details of what it would take… so, therefore she gave it away. It’s worth about $10,000.00, can you believe that? Informing yourself doesn’t cost a thing.
What happened to the painting by Robert Wood (beginning of article)? Sadly, the owner sold this painting, in its dented, beat up condition, for a fraction of its value because they had no idea what to do with it.
Here are 5 tips to follow if you find yourself in this kind of situation:
- Ask an art appraiser about the painting. Sometimes they will not charge for a verbal opinion if you do not require a formal appraisal. Also, you ask an auction house for their opinion.
- Speak with an art conservator to give value/estimate for repairs.
- Ask the curator at a local museum for an opinion.
- Another suggestion would be, if you can read the signature on the painting research it, and you can find out interesting things. This artist, for example, would show up everywhere in a search. He was quite famous.
- DO NOT consult with art dealers right away until you get other’s opinions first. They will try to buy the artwork for as little as possible.
Let’s say you know nothing about art and you don’t want to spend the money to get it fixed…
- Would you be tempted to throw this painting away??
- Or would you sell it for a cheap price at a garage sale??
For $1,000.00 this painting can look as good as new, and should be worth the maximum amount of money after restoration.
If this were to be a family portrait the sales price may not be as important but its preservation would be more important than ever.
To keep these damages from happening, do not lean anything on paintings. Cover front and back with cardboard, or place in a cardboard mirror box. Do not store where the temperature gets too hot or too cold, or where it gets humid or moldy.
When you have a damaged painting, your home owner’s insurance policy may help you pay for it, and may even pay you for lost value. For more information about this, go to www.insurancepersonalpropertyassessments.com or call us at
(805 564 3438)
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