Previous posts here have discussed some items that are commonly held by couples with significant wealth, such as shares in a family business or other investments. These sorts of property are commonly at issue during the course of a high asset divorce or separation, but it is good for even happily married couples to have some understanding of how to get a value on a piece of property when it is not possible to just look up the going market price.
Another item to which couples in the throes of a divorce or other financial crisis may have to pay particular attention is artwork. Like many other types of property, artwork does not usually have a fixed or even readily ascertainable value, so the only way to really know how much a piece of art is worth is to sell it on the open market. A sale, however, is not always a realistic option. At this point, it may be necessary to involve an expert art appraiser, as well as an experienced family law attorney. Still, there are some principles our readers can keep in mind if they own artwork.
For instance, when it comes to art, the opinion of those in the art world as to the value of an artist’s work is paramount. What those who collect art and those who broker the sale of art at galleries think about a what a piece of art is worth goes a long way in determining a piece’s value, even perhaps more so than does the opinion of an art critic who may at times have a vested interest in seeing an artist or particular piece of work get high accolades.
Likewise, those who run museums and even artists themselves can add value to certain artwork. Valuing a piece of art, assuming it is not damaged, is really a matter of putting a dollar value on how the public, or, precisely, those who might purchase the art, perceives the art.