Having trouble understanding some of the lingo when visiting art galleries or art auctions? Here are a few commonly-used art terms to be familiar with.
This is a term for objects from Antiquity, specifically, ancient Greece and Rome, ancient Egypt and the other ancient Near Eastern cultures.
A small group of outstanding prints for the artist's use, which have been set aside from the edition prints.
An appraisal is a formal evaluation of the fair market and/or insurance value of a given piece or group of property. This value, which is made by comparing the object with similar works that sold recently, may also represent what an item would likely bring at auction. Insurance value reflects what it would cost to replace an item.
When an auction house or gallery stands by the accuracy of its bold-type description of authorship, usually for a period of time.
At an art auction, if there are no bids on a lot, or if bidding does not reach the reserve price,the lot is "bought in," meaning it is left unsold and remains the property of the owner.
Parrafin or beeswax is used to resist paint or dye on fabric or paper. Designs and patterns are produced on the unwaxed areas.
At an auction, this is the additional amount above the hammer price that is paid to the auctioneer as part of the total purchase price.
The owner who is transferring property to a gallery or auction house to act as agent on the owner's behalf for the sale at auction
Fair Market Value
A term used frequently by appraisers referring to their judgment and opinion about an object's likely sale price if offered for sale by a willing seller to a willing buyer. Since the auction process is open to all bidders, a sale at auction is considered to be a measure of Fair Market Value.
Opaque watercolors and the technique of painting with such colors using white to make tints.
Considered to be the most important art movement of the 19th century.
This is a printing process. A small stone, or metal plate is used. The printer, usually with the artists supervision, covers the plate with a sheet of paper which are then run through the printer.
An individual object or group of objects offered for sale at auction as a single unit.
The art material that is used in a work of art. This may include clay, paint or pencil. Describing more then one art medium is referred to as media.
Caused by corrosion, it is an incrustation, usually green, on the surface of a metal (typically bronze) object. Such discoloration occurs naturally with age through exposure to elements.
According to Sotheby's, provenance is the history of ownership of the property being sold. This can be an important part of the authentication process as it establishes the chain of ownership back (if possible) to the time the piece was made. An interesting provenance can add to the a piece's value, as was the case with the Duchess of Windsor's jewels or the contents of Andy Warhol's estate (where even cookie jars fetched thousands of dollars), which were both sold at Sotheby's.
An object or a custom that remains from a previous time or culture.