In the latest article of our collector’s guide series, we’ll be talking about how important condition reports are when you choose to buy fine art online. In our experience as art dealers who regularly assist our clients with the process of buying fine art online, we are often asked about the importance of obtaining and scrutinising condition reports before making a purchase. So, how important are condition reports and why should you request one?
The world of art has naturally experienced a significant shift towards online buying and selling since the introduction of the internet. With the rise of art dealer’s websites and online exhibitions, auction platforms and online marketplaces, it has never been as simple to buy fine art online. However, when it comes to buying a valuable piece of art, whether online or in person, it is important to take sensible precautions to make sure you are getting exactly what you paid for. This is where a condition report is useful.
What is a Condition Report?
A condition report is a document that details the physical condition of an artwork, including any damages or imperfections. Most often compiled by a professional art conservator or appraiser, condition reports can be used to assess the value of the artwork. They’re also important for identifying any issues that may affect the long-term preservation and future condition of the piece.
When purchasing any genre of art regardless of its age, whether you buy modern British art online, buy post-war art online, or buy Victorian art online, a condition report, in our opinion, is essential. Art that was created in the mid to late 20th century may naturally have experienced some wear and tear over the years. On the other hand, modern British artists may have experimented with a variety materials and techniques, sometimes unusual, which could potentially make a condition report even more important. Regardless of the age and genre, it is obviously extremely difficult to assess the physical condition of a piece without both a condition report and expert guidance.
Buying Fine Art Online with a Condition Report
A condition report can also be a valuable source of information when it comes to negotiating a sale when you buy fine art online. For example, the price of a piece that has been identified as having any kind of damage, or the need for repair, restoration, or conservation, could be negotiated. A lower selling price would, therefore, enable you as a buyer to budget for any necessary repairs or future conservation.
As a fine art dealer, we would always recommend that you obtain a condition report when buying fine art online. Condition reports are absolutely essential documents when it comes to making sure you get exactly what you pay for, especially when you buy fine art online. So, before making any major art purchases, it would always be our advice to request a condition report from a reputable appraiser or art conservator.
If you have any further questions regarding assessing the condition of a piece of art you are looking to buy online, or advice about obtaining a condition report, Victoria Fine Art can help. If you’d like to set up an appointment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Feel free to complete this form, telephone +44 (0)1727 861669 or email email@example.com for more information.