Aside from the aesthetic value of owning an artwork, purchasing art can also be a way of making a financial investment or securing wealth. Similarly, selling a work of art, whether a painting, sculpture or piece of furniture, can be a way of raising funds.
However, in order ensure a wise and informed purchase or sale of an artwork it may be necessary to obtain a professional valuation in order to proceed with confidence. A professional valuation should be carried out with a proper degree of care and skill – where this is not the case and financial loss is sustained as a result, it may be worth talking to a specialist in art valuation negligence claims.
The process of establishing negligence in art valuation cases can be very difficult. An incorrect valuation is not necessarily a negligent one. After all, an artwork is worth only as much as someone is prepared to pay for it and sometimes it can be impossible to predict market forces. Determining what constitutes ‘negligence’ in valuation negligence cases will invariably require expert legal help.
A valuation is likely to be deemed negligent if an independent professional retrospectively determines that it fell outside of a reasonable valuation “bracket”. This retrospective test asks only what could reasonably have been known by the valuer at the time of original valuation.
Failure to ensure attribution or authenticity
If a valuer fails to correctly ascertain a piece’s authenticity or authorship, there may be grounds for a claim for negligence if it can be proven that negligence or carelessness led to this fact.
Failure to check provenance
Establishing provenance is a crucial part of the art valuer’s job. An artwork without a strong provenance may not be worth as much as one with well documented and demonstrated provenance.
The lost Titiian
In 2010, a valuer’s client received an undisclosed settlement after a negligent valuation led to an artwork he had owned selling for millions of pounds below its true value.
The client had sold the lost Titian at auction for just £8,000 based on the strength of a valuation – however, within eight years it sold again, this time for £4million.
All it took to reveal the painting’s true attribution and value was a little cleaning – something which the original valuer had advised would be unnecessary.
Valuation negligence claims
Has a valuer provided you with a valuation which falls below the accepted standards of competency for a professional? If you believe that this might be the case, and you believe that this fact has led to you sustaining financial loss, our valuation negligence claim team can help you proceed with confidence.
For help and advice contact the professional negligence lawyers at our Brighton or London offices today.