Antique Paintings For Sale: 3 Things to Avoid


So you’ve decided you want to find antique paintings for sale. Perhaps you collect antiques, or maybe you’ve moved in to a larger house and want to take advantage of the wall space. Once you know what you’re looking for, what next? Here are three steps that will help you find an antique painting you’ll be happy with.

Overpriced Art

Antiques shimmer with an aura of value. But not all of them are worth thousands of dollars, or even hundreds. An antique painting is simply an old painting – and as much a few centuries ago as now, plenty of painters were mediocre or merely good.

The worst offender for overpriced art is the first place you’d think to look for antique paintings for sale – an art gallery. Galleries have, in addition to carrying fine art, light bills and rent and employee salaries. They must transfer all these overhead expenses to you, the customer, by means of an extra few hundred dollars tacked on to that antique oil painting.

Most of the time, you’ll get a much better price – not to mention a more convenient search process – if you look online.

Fake Antique Paintings For Sale

In your search for a good deal, you might be tempted to open up eBay, type “antique paintings for sale,” and lose yourself in their vast collection. But you may end up leaping from the money-devouring fire of overpriced art into the cheap, tarnished frying pan of forgeries and mass-produced ‘originals’. Antique art is easy to fake – you can’t exactly ring up the artist and ask if it’s their signature. Also, many talented artists have slipped under the radar of the mainstream art market, so if there happen to be twenty copies of that lovely Impressionist landscape, the individual buyers won’t notice.

Even dealers who aren’t trying to scam you can be taken in themselves. Your best bet is to find an honest dealer with experience buying antiques.

Getting Trapped With a Damaged Piece

Lastly, antique paintings have been hanging on walls and sitting in storage for centuries – plenty of time to pick up unsightly scratches and damage. Sometimes these don’t show up in the photos, and it’s in the dealer’s interest to keep quiet about them. So you shell out for the painting, wait for it to arrive, and open the packaging only to discover a chipped frame or a scratched canvas. And most purveyors of online art won’t let you return that damaged painting easily. You’ll have to live with the imperfection or perhaps go through a tedious return process.

So before you buy your art, make sure the seller offers easy returns with a generous window for you to examine and approve the painting.

If you purchase from us at Guy Lyman Fine Art, you’ll be following all three of these steps. We have years of experience in hunting great deals on outstanding paintings. We know the methods of verifying art well enough to teach them. Plus, we cover our paintings with a 125% guarantee for hassle-free returns.