Valuing art: The role of provenance and auction
The French verb provenir means to come from/stem from, referring to the source. Art is perhaps one of the very few asset classes where valuations depend so much on its source. This explains why ‘provenance’ (pronounced as ‘prov-uh-nuhns’) attains overriding logic.
Comparative techniques, expert opinions, written and verbal records and the data from scientific tests are time and again used to help ascertain ‘provenance’ of a work of art. Like accounting, it’s all in the detail.
Sellers would want to discover the ‘real’ worth of a Ravi Varma work based on history, while buyers would look for future promise. Ask Mr M. Maher Dadha, Chairman and Managing Director of home-grown fine art auction house Bid & Hammer.