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Portraits! They are what to look for when buying fine art.

Updated on August 9, 2011

Art work as a sure investment

In todays rocky economy we all need to invest carefully. Art has always been a solid investment for safe investors. The trick is to know what to buy and where. Many experts talk about purchasing stocks of glass, books, costume jewlry, sports memorabilia, and things like post cards and prints. Once in awhile someone hits a good find but, this is rare. My advice is to stick to fine art. Avoid collectables unless you are well schooled in antiques. Skip that all together. The real money is in quality oil paintings.

Nothing other than pure gold can be traded for such a great deal of profit. I suggest taking your time and purchase fine art wisely. Look for oil paintings from the past. Never mind the frame. A frame can be old and the seller can simply add a new print to it and make it look old and expensive. Later, you may find your art work worthless. Look for signed and readable art work. If a painting in not signed it really hurts the value. Other pieces are signed but, if the signature is not legible you will not be able to sell it.

Look for oils paintings of ladies in dresses. Attractive women are of great value in art. An oil painting of a woman in a white dress is considered most valuable. Before the purchase go on line and research the name of the artist. There are many new lists used by art dealers all over the world. I will not pay more than $100 for any artwork that is signed by an unknown artist. Consider the nails used and the type of canvass. This can reveal the true age of the piece. Unless you are well informed stay away from impressionist paintings. You need a lot of knowlege to make an appropriate impressionist art investment. Stick to portraits. Most of all enjoy searching. Remember, It only takes one good find to make between $40,000-$200,000 at an auction. The biggest mistake you can make when investing in art is to purchase without investigation.

Another tip is to look for Native American quill or bead work. Investigate the item. Try to find the tribe it belonged to as well as the possible artist. Often these purchases can bring a high price from a museum who purchases the item from you. Never hold on to a piece of art work that is not insured. Insure all art work. Art can be stolen or damaged by fire or water. Also, be careful in what you wrap or store your art work in. Use acid free paper and store all pieces away from heat and light. Again, take your time and have fun. Art is the perfect secure investment when you buy smart and store properly. By Joanne Kathleen Farrell, author of Liberty for the Lion Shield


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