Fine Art as an Investment: Advice from Inside the World of Art

Bonham's Fine Art
So you have made the decision to become the proud owner of a new masterpiece of fine art – not just for the aesthetic appeal it provides hanging on your wall – but also as an alternative investment. This decision can (and should) be a wise and profitable one for you.

This may be stating the obvious, but I would be remiss if I didn’t.  Rare art=valuable art.  A first hand original work of art is practically a must when looking to purchase a piece as an investment opportunity. Rarely will you find anything that will increase exponentially in value that is not an original work created and signed by the artists very own hands. Some exceptions to this rule do exist, of course. Usually this will apply to unique limited edition prints all done individually by the artists themselves.

According to the experts on Investopedia, several factors determine the value of an artist’s print: the size of the edition, that is, the number of prints the artist makes of one work; the significance of the work; the condition of the print; and whether it is signed and numbered by the artist. In the market for prints, it is rarity that bestows value. A low run of limited edition prints is more valuable than a mass-produced image. Even an earlier pull of a print – say No.10 of 100 (rather than No 80 of 100) – can mean better value.

Another important factor you should definitely abide by when considering your art investment is that it is a long-term investment. So enjoy it while it adorns your walls. Try not to get too greedy and sell too soon. When you are ready to sell your art your best resource for getting you the maximum value of the investment is to utilize the service of a fine art auction house. Auction houses like this vary by percentage of the final sale price so be sure to check out more than one and do your homework on the auction house. For a few tips on ensuring you are working with a reputable source, take a look at my previous blog posting entitled, Gavin Abadi’s Expert Advice on Avoiding Ripoff and Art Scams.