Antique paintings are quite old by definition. After all, an antique is anything that is 100 years of age or older. What’s difficult, however, is finding a true antique painting that has stood the test of time. Whether it’s your first time buying an antique art piece or you’re simply looking for a new technique, check out this guide to buying antique paintings. Learn how to identify, authenticate, and negotiate for a true antique painting.
Know what you’re looking for
Do some research into the type or style of painting you want, the region you’d like it to have been painted in, and other details. Know your end goal before you start your search. It’s easy to get swept up in the beauty of antique paintings, so knowing the size, shape, and general type of painting you want—and where you’ll display it—can help narrow down the vast options. A little bit of research can help you navigate the antique lingo by accurately describing what you’re searching for. This can make your entire experience much quicker and easier. Shop around an antique art gallery for inspiration and help from trusted dealers.
Once you’ve found a painting you or the dealer believes to be an antique, do your best to confirm this title. Antiques must be at least 100 years of age to qualify. Ask the dealer when it was painted and if the dealer doesn’t have an exact date the painting was created, flip the canvas over and check the back. The back of the canvas should be yellowed or browned from age. Any white or beige canvases are not going to be antiques. Don’t be afraid to ask directly if the painting is reproduced or original; reputable dealers will be honest and not hide this fact from you.
Be forgiving of condition
There are very few true antique paintings available that are in pristine condition. Due to the sheer age of the item, there are bound to be a few chips, tears, or discoloration from the original condition. Of course, don’t buy any painting that is in terrible condition if you’re not happy with it, but do understand a 100-year-old painting won’t—and shouldn’t—look brand new. Go into your search with realistic expectations from the dealer and the paintings.
Buying antique artwork is an exciting task. Antique artwork comes with more than just beauty; it comes with a fascinating history. It’s a great addition to any home or office as an unbeatable conversation piece. Add your story to the already immense history of a piece of art by adding a true antique painting to your collection.