In the course of time, I’ve accumulated a lot of stuff. Much of the stuff is old Asian art — mostly Chinese and some Japanese porcelain from Han to Qing dynasties.
I have no idea what it’s worth.
I didn’t buy it from major art houses and much of it has no provenance, so I have no way to prove where I got it … with a few exceptions that I got through the Chinese government agency and it has a number and a label. But these are small pieces and not worth huge amounts of money, or at least I don’t think they are.
But it has been years since I got them and prices have changed dramatically. I also have some nice original paintings – watercolors and oils. These, except for one which was a wedding gift, were bought from galleries. Again, all were bought at least 20 (or more) years ago, so I have no idea what they are worth or if they are worth anything. I didn’t buy them for their art value. I just liked them.
I guess what I need is an art evaluator to come to this house and look at all the pieces and give me an estimate of their worth. I know that places like Sotheby’s do this, but they tend to be low-ball estimators because they are looking for pieces that can resell and the less they pay you, the better for them. On the plus side, if you can reach an agreement, they take the stuff away and you aren’t left with figuring out what to do with some really fragile, delicate artwork.
Even my son pointed out that I have some pretty nice art hanging on the walls and I said I didn’t think it was worth much since with a few exceptions, none of the artists was or is famous.
I could be wrong. I could be very wrong. I could also be absolutely right and what I’ve got are some pretty pieces that aren’t worth much. I have no idea.
I don’t even know enough to take a good guess. A lot of my Chinese stuff I can’t find out about because all the books about it are in Chinese. Asian art only became valuable recently.
For years, it was considered junk by the Chinese who were convinced that anything old was worthless. Eventually, over the past 20 years, they have re-evaluated that opinion for which I was grateful because they were using crushed ancient Han pots to build roads.
So here’s a question: do any of you know any art evaluators who I could enlist to help me figure out what I’ve got? Please, if anyone knows somebody who knows somebody who might be able to help me make some kind of estimate of what this stuff is worth, please be in touch.
I’ve always been under the assumption that it isn’t worth much, but so many people have told me I’m wrong, I have to assume maybe they know something I don’t know.