Fine Art & Antiques

> Uncategorized > Fine Art & Antiques

Art is something that speaks to each and every one of us. We may not necessarily like everything that our friends or family like, but there will be a piece of art somewhere that can capture your heart. It’s interesting that this should be the case; shouldn’t we all like the same kind of art? Shouldn’t there be a criteria which art is judged by?

Well, our honest opinion is no. The whole point of art is that it is a reflection of that person at that time. It is a picture of their emotions and their vision at that precise moment. How much you enjoy a piece of art will depend upon how greatly you connect to the ideas they were able to convey with the piece. Your interpretation will also be affected by your own attitudes and values that you are inevitably going to bring to the piece.

The great thing about galleries are that there is one out there designed exactly for you. Whether you prefer fine art, impressionism, abstract, digital – there is a gallery bringing together the finest modern or traditional examples of that particular form. There will also be galleries that combine a number of different genres. These are especially useful for people who are unsure of what kind of art they are interested in. The team, here at the North West Times, have numerous examples where we’ve wondered around a gallery and found a piece of art that we’d never normally look at because it was classified as ‘abstract’ and taken it home!

Before we leave you to enjoy the links to our sponsors below, we’d like you to consider an experiment carried out by Oxford University just a few months ago. Researchers attached 14 people up to brain scanners (sounds terrifying – doesn’t it?) and showed them paintings by famous artist Rembrandt. What the experiment found was that when a subject was told the piece was ‘fake’ they didn’t respond nearly as positively as when they were told it was ‘real’. What this shows is that human beings have a natural admiration for individual creativity. They are able to put themselves into the mind of an artist and therefore art is as much about engagement with our mind as our eyes.

Fine Art As An Investment by Arts Bank

We’ve all thought about it at least once. There is some spare cash hidden away somewhere, or an investment has just paid dividends, or you’ve just come into an inheritance. You’ve paid off the mortgage and recently bought a new car and the children are all grown up, so what do you do with the money? Then you read an article in the paper about how a Van Gogh that couldn’t be sold for love nor money in the artist’s lifetime has just gone for £20 million, and then another article caught your eye about how some long forgotten artist has been rediscovered and his work has quintupled in value in the last year. So you consider maybe buying art as a long term investment and your local gallery has some pictures you quite like and the prices seem reasonable and the artist has built up a small reputation for himself.
What should you do?

Well, if you are at all serious about buying fine art as an investment, you start by educating yourself about the art market as much as you do about the art itself. A good way to combine these two disciplines is to go round as many art galleries as you are able and ask lots of questions about why the gallery chose to curate this artist’s work and how they set the prices for the art and whether they specialise in a particular segment of the market and how they chose their specialisation. Really ask lots of questions about everything and anything and don’t be shy about asking questions that might sound naïve or stupid. After all, you are here to learn from the experts and the best way to learn is to start from a position of complete ignorance without any assumptions or preconceptions about how the art business works or why a particular artist or style of art is more valuable than another.

Once you feel you have a handle on current trends and potential future trends in the art market, there is one essential thing to decide: whether you will be buying art purely for investment purposes, primarily as an investment but also as something you’d like to hang on your living room wall, or as something you’ve absolutely fallen in love with that might just also appreciate in value when passed on as a family heirloom. Naturally going purely for the investment value of the piece is more likely to make you money, but in that case you might as well invest in stocks and shares. If, as is more likely the case, you want to invest your money in something that you also like the look of, make sure that your heart doesn’t rule your head and you buy something that looks pretty but is unlikely to ever accrue very much more value than you paid for it. Regardless of the circumstances that have resulted in your buying the piece of art, there are two essential things to determine from the seller that guarantee its resale value: a statement of authenticity and a detailed history of ownership going back to the time the work was created, because without these two pieces of documentation the work is effectively worthless.

Aside from this, it is a good idea to find out more about the kind of seller you are dealing with. Request references and check to ensure their authenticity and impartiality. Get a feel for how the dealer is viewed in the industry by asking about him in museums and other art galleries. The dealer might have his finger on the zeitgeist and be in a position to source work from artists who are hot at the moment, but for how long will they remain hot and is their work selling for over-inflated amounts as a result? Or perhaps the seller specialises in the type of art you are thinking of buying, so has a good idea of the value of the piece, or the style was in vogue five years ago but has fallen off since and the seller hasn’t altered his prices accordingly.

One failsafe way of looking into the dealers reputation is to look at what has happened to the art he has handled in the past. Have the prices for this work generally gone up, stayed the same or even gone down in valuation. Any respectable dealer or seller should have a record of their past sales and be willing to share this information. If they are not, this suggests they may well have something to hide.

Aside from conventional bricks and mortar sellers, it is highly recommended that you look into what is on offer for sale on the internet. An obvious advantage of using the internet is that you are better placed to shop around and compare prices, in addition to doing the necessary research to determine what sort of art is hot or coming up at the moment. In addition to this, products are often cheaper on the internet because virtual shops don’t have to pay rent or salaries to shop assistants. This factor is particularly significant in the art world, where up to 30% of the total sale price for a painting can go to the gallery as commission.

One such online site for buying contemporary art as an investment is, the UK’s premier fine art trading website. Artbank has a wonderful selection of paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures and ceramics for you to browse through. The art is categorised into styles ranging from abstract, figurative and surreal and by the artist’s nationality and subject matter to be easily searchable, and the seller can be contacted directly. One of the features of Artbank that might appeal to the budding investor is that anybody can post art on the site, so it is more likely that they will be able to uncover a hidden gem. Alternatively, if there is a particular artist that interests you, Artbank can contact you whenever a piece by that artist comes up for sale on the site. And remember that Artbank lets you contact the seller directly and doesn’t charge either you or the seller any fees or a commission on the final sale, enabling you to buy the painting at the lowest possible rate.

Insurance issues are also a consideration when collecting art for personal or investment purposes, so seek advice from the dealer to ensure that you are properly covered. Also, it is a good idea to check with your financial advisor for more details about how investing in art might be a valuable asset to your investment portfolio. Once you have established the financial sense of investing in fine art and the various tax brakes attendant to it, in combination with learning more about the art market itself, you are in a good position to start collecting. Here’s hoping you uncover the next Picasso or Van Gogh. The very best of luck!

Theme: Overlay by Kaira


North West Times

Customer Testimonials

Prenton Preparatory School

As headteacher of Prenton Prep School I have dealt with Katie Walden in her role at the North West Times on numerous occasions. She has always been well-spoken and extremely professional in her manner and has followed up conversations with the promised actions promptly. Katie is a good representative for Colston Media and PPS have, therefore, reused the service on various occasions.

Scarisbrick Hall School

This is to confirm that I have been dealing with Katie for about 3 months now and in all our communications she has been professional in her handling of the enquiry and where possible as offered the best possible rate available and space in the publications we are advertising in.

Lake District Inns & Cottages

Colston Media has really put us on a platform to North West Times readers. We have used them a number of times over the years to promote our Inns and Cottages. Early this year we decided to really push weddings at The Kings Head Inn. Katie, our representative at Colston Media, jumped on this and reached out to us every time there was an amazing chance to get our name out there. Communication between us was clear, so we always knew exactly what er were getting and for how long we would be visible. Katie was also happy to work with us and our right budgets. I provided images and our wedding pack information. From this, the team made a lovely advert that highlighted our best features. All the stress of putting something together was taken away from us. We decided to change the photos used for the earlier adverts which was no problem to the team at all. From all this work, we have started taking a number of bookings for the upcoming year. With out already at the end of March. Due to the area the North West Times is distributed and being accessible online, we really feel this has helped confirm these bookings. We look forward to continuing to work with Colston Media in the future.

Cheshire Falconry Centre

Hi, just a quick note to say thanks to Gary regarding is help in placing adverts with yourself, Gary made the whole procedure very easy and was a great point of contact.

Storthes Hall Park

Good service, great offers simple process and easy to work with!

Oasis Fostering Services

Please find below my thoughts on my experience of dealing with you.
I have always found you to be really polite and patient with me - I have a very busy workload and you have been understanding of this when I haven't managed to come back to you. I have found you to be very helpful and explanatory and have always been happy that I've understood exactly what you are proposing. I have been impressed with how speedy you have dealt with any questions I have had. I was happy with the ad and although it is difficult to always identify where our enquiries come from, we have definitely seen a rise in enquiries - so something is working for us! We would definitely consider using you again and we would definitely recommend you to others.

Holdens Solicitors

I wanted to set down in writing my views on the skill with which you have dealt with me over the last months. You are extremely business-like and always make a compelling case for Holdens to advertise. You are efficient and effective and have a no-nonsense approach which is very engaging. Without your sensible and accessible approach, we would never have advertised or thought to do so. You also have the ability to make us as the client feel special and work with us as if you are working for our success. This combination of skills is exceptional as I can testify after a long career in the corporate environment when one is bombarded with services being offered.
If there is anything, I can do to promote your high level of service to us please do not hesitate to let me know.

Livewell by Cheryl

‘ I found Dan to be very informative, understanding and professional. He was also extremely patient, as I asked a fair few questions. Thanks for your help Dan, especially as I am reasonably new to advertising.’

Gwernydd Hall Holiday Home Park

My Experience with you and Colston Media was a positive one, you came across very professional and may I say an experienced and "Good" Salesperson. You were not pushy but you did persevere to get the important points across.
Printed advertising does not work too well in this industry anymore, Online and social Media is bringing in the sales at the moment.


I often speak to Shane regarding advertising as we do a lot of advertising for our charity events. Shane is extremely polite and helpful, responds to queries very promptly, and is a friendly person to speak to. Great customer service :)