Believe it or not, art is an asset. And like any asset, such as your car, your home, or your stamp collection, you insure it. Interestingly as soon as one acquires one of these items, one automatically seeks the advice of an advisor or broker to ascertain adequate insurance and annual premiums ensure thereafter. Yet, the same cannot be said for art.
Speaking with my insurance broker on a somewhat frequent basis, I am always surprised to hear how infrequent his clients seek the advice of a professional when estimating the value of their art collection; the consequences of not having an up to date valuation, and therefore a current value, can mean the difference between being reimbursed for loss or damage appropriate to its market value or incurring a loss on that initial investment.
Obtaining a professional appraisal of your artwork operates in much the same way as seeking a value for other assets. Credentials should be assessed; market sector and specialty experience should be examined together with the level of tertiary qualifications and membership with an industry association, such as the Art Consulting Association of Australia (ACAA).
Most importantly, seeking the services of an independent, objective and impartial professional will result in a more accurate valuation, and without the potential bias of an invested interest in the artwork and therefore its value.
There are a number of attributes which an experienced appraiser will utilise in order to determine the value of your artwork:
Additionally, depending upon the nature of the valuation, i.e. the artwork is being considered for a charitable contribution or gift, or the artwork is part of the asset pool in a Family Law property dispute, the valuation may also include consideration of future capital gains tax issues.
Valuing your art necessitates the same respect as valuing your other lifetime assets. Regular, up to date valuations of your artworks are an important adjunct to the ongoing maintenance and accurate documentation of your collection.
Seeking the advice and services of an experienced and knowledgeable professional is a critical step in the provision of an accurate art valuation. Catherine Asquith Art’s valuation services offer new and established collectors a comprehensive appreciation of their collection, its current parameters and indeed, future directions.
Catherine Asquith has been working within the Australian art market, and more recently, the Asian art market, across both the primary and secondary sectors for the past twenty years and is a member of the Art Consulting Association of Australia (ACAA).
In Menzies’ forthcoming “Australian & International Fine Art & Sculpture” auction scheduled for September 24, a superb piece by Inner Mongolian-born artist, Xue Mo (b.1966) has been included. This work was exhibited in “Mongolian Secrets” (27th October to 15th November, 2009) at my former gallery, and whilst I will admit upfront, my bias, clearly this oil on linen painting is truly a standout piece. I would also add I am not the vendor!
The 2009 exhibition itself was an extraordinarily successful show, with an 80% sale rate, which at the time, coming in at the tail end of the GFC, was unusual within the primary art market. Robert Nelson, art critic for The Age, devoted a ½ page review to the exhibition, complementing the artist on her facility of draftsmanship as much as her skillful rendering of colour and form.
For more than a decade I have represented this unique and talented artist, and it will be exceptionally good buying to acquire this work at the higher estimate, given the artist’s retail value in the US is more than double the amount!
Outstanding results were achieved last night in Sydney with the first part of the auction of The Peter Elliott Collection by Mossgreen. Notably, the featured artwork on the cover of the catalogue, Brett Whiteley's 'Arrival" sold above its estimate for AUD650,000.
Michaela Boland, National Arts Writer for The Australian gives a summary of the action: Peter Elliott art estate lures big buyers at auction
The Peter Elliott Collection is an extraordinary private collection acquired over seventy years by a remarkable and inspiring man. Peter Elliott grew up surrounded by art – his father was a friend and patron of Norman Lindsay, and several other modern Australian artists – and he acquired his first piece in 1947, soon after he left his service with the Navy at the age of seventeen. Following graduation, he went on to become a highly respected and decorated surgeon, but it was as a passionate and dedicated art collector that he became most well-known. The collection features exceptional works by some of Australia’s finest artists including Brett Whiteley, William Robinson, Jeffrey Smart, Charles Blackman, Arthur Boyd, John Brack, Justin O’Brien, an exceptional Oceanic and Indigenous arts collection and a large and extensive collection of Chinese and South East Asian arts, European antiques and decorative arts.
Energetic bidding in a packed saleroom saw The Chinese & Asian Art Section of The Autumn Auction Series estimated at a total of $424,450 sell for $847,473 (200% sold by value) at Mossgreen on the 16th June 2015..
Highlights included a large Chinese Rhinoceros Horn Libation Cup, Qing Dynasty, circa 17th century (pictured below), with an estimate of $20,000-$30,000 sold for a record of $183,000 (incl. BP).
Also of interest was the result for the much-touted highlight, Lot 31, A fine carved white jade “lotus leaf” brush washer, "Bixi", early Qing Dynasty, 17th /18th century. With an estimate of $30,000 to $40,000, its result of $158,600 (inclusive of BP) was very impressive.
Given the NGV International's A Golden Age of China: Qianlong Emperor, 1736 - 1795 exhibition, on until 21 June 2015 (visit NGV), Mossgreen's forthcoming Autumn Auction Series is timely, particularly in respect of its session for "Chinese & Asian Art",
The standout piece is a museum quality, rare and magnificent carved white jade 'lotus leaf' brush washer, from the early Qing Dynasty (Lot 31). In the accompanying catalogue entry, it notes "Lotus was highly appreciated by Chinese scholars, it represents their spiritual purity..." And "Chinese Jade in Qing dynasty was often carved in a nature form, which represents the naturalism idea of scholars."
A fine carved white jade “lotus leaf” brush washer, "Bixi", early Qing Dynasty, 17th /18th century
A fine carved white jade “lotus leaf” brush washer, "Bixi", early Qing Dynasty, 17th /18th century, the stem acting as a handle, the vessel supported on a bed of small leaves and tendrils, the veins in the leaves exquisitely carved, the exterior with traces of russet skin.
Zitan stand with Spink and Son Ltd. label.
15.3cm long, 14.5cm wide, 7.1cm high
Estimate: AUD30,000 to AUD40,000
Spink & Son Ltd., 28/4/1987
Another similar white jade brush washer although smaller in size and with a simpler design was sold at Christie's King Street, UK, in November 2013, Lot.80.
(Estimate:£8,000 to £12,000. Price realized: £10,625)
A SMALL WHITE JADE 'LOTUS LEAF' BRUSH WASHER, XI, 18TH CENTURY
The washer is elegantly modelled in the form of a curled lotus leaf, with the exterior carved with a thick stem to one side. Naturalistic veins are depicted rising from the base to the incurved rim. The stone is of an even pale milky tone.
3¾ in. (9.5 cm.) wide
Provenance: Spink & Son Ltd., London
Mossgreen's forthcoming Autumn Auction Series comprises 679 lots and will be auctioned over 4 sessions. "Chinese & Asian Arts" (Lots 1-140) which commences Tuesday 16 June. (Visit Mossgreen)