Definition of 'Known Artist' and 'Unknown Artist'

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How do I know whether to select Known Artist or Unknown Artist for my valuation?

It's usually quite easy to decide whether your picture is by a Known or Unknown artist. If a picture is signed with the full name of the artist, the artist is 'known'.

On the other hand, the picture may have no signature or inscription, or bear any clue whatsoever as to who the artist is. In this case the artist is 'unknown'.

Sometimes it's a little harder to decide which category your picture falls into, especially if the picture only has a partial signature - ie, it is only signed with a surname, or is initialled, or is illegibly signed.

The next two paragraphs should help you decide which option to select for your valuation:

Known Artist - select this option if you know the identity or full name of the artist, or the name by which they are generally recognised. If you definitely know who created the picture, or the picture is signed 'John Smith', or 'Picasso', for example, or you can clearly read the full signature, select Known Artist.

Unknown Artist - if the work is initialled or monogrammed, or signed 'John', 'Smith' or 'J. Smith', or you cannot read the signature, we do not know the exact identity or full name of the artist. In this case you should select the Unknown Artist option.

We charge extra for a valuation of a picture by an Unknown Artist because of the extra work required to research the picture and to attempt to identify the artist who created it.

Please note that we do not guarantee that we can always attribute unsigned or indistinctly signed works to a particular artist.

Frequently Asked Questions