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Learn a new language: Art Appraisal speak!

Sotheby’s recently sold Botticelli’s “Young Man Holding a Rondel" for a record $92.2.m at auction!

You may not have a Botticelli, but you could still have artwork of value. So before you put it to the curb, get an appraisal!

In cases of art (paintings, drawings, sculpture, etc.) that appears to be by a very well-known and chronicled artist, an authorized personal property (and/or auction house) will refer to a known expert in the field for authentication.

For other valuable art, the following terms are ones you should learn (as you will see them in appraisals done by professionals):


By the artist: An authenticator will use this language to indicate, in their opinion, the item is authentic and is by the artist named.

Attributed to: The item is a work of the period of the artist, which may, in whole or part, be the work of the artist.

Studio of: Possibly made under the master’s hand, but work of an unknown hand.

Circle of: A work of the period of a master, closely resembling his or her style.

School of: Work by a pupil/follower of the master

In the Manner of (In the Style of): Style of the master, but possibly of a later date

After: A copy of a known work of the artist, often of a later date


Circa: Carries the meaning of “approximately” or “about” and is used to mean plus/minus ten years from the date given.

Flourished: Means twenty years either side of the date.

Before: Used to mean up to 100 years before the date given.

After: The word “after” is used to mean up to 100 years after the date given.

Probably: Used for fairly certain dates.

Now you have some “art speak.” Be sure to contact me for an authorized appraisal as much more detail is given in an appraisal report

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