Created 2006
Author: Library Services

How do I find information about the value and authenticity of a work of art, book, map, or collectible?

The Research Library at the Getty Research Institute does not provide, endorse, recommend, or guarantee appraisal services. The Research Library is not affiliated with public Web sites referenced here nor is it responsible for their content.

Research current and past sales of works by checking sales indexes, price guides, and dealers' inventories:

Library resources, such as price indexes, may be helpful in estimating the approximate monetary value of works of art and other materials. Entries may be arranged by artist's last name, medium, or date of sale.

Many of the following sources are available at the Research Library at the Getty Research Institute. If you are interested in using this material onsite, read about about Access Policy and Reader Privileges.

Works of art:

Auktionspreise im Kunstpreis Jahrbuch. Munich: Weltkunst Verlag. (annual)
International sales from 1939 to the present; fine and decorative arts.

Davenport's Art Reference & Price Guide. Phoenix: Gordon's Art Reference, 1986 –.
Sales from 1986 to the present; paintings, watercolors, drawings, engravings, lithographs, sculpture.

Gordon's Print Price Annual. Phoenix: LTB Gordonsart. (annual)
Sales from 1978 to the present; prints, posters, graphics, Picasso ceramics (excludes photographs).

Hislop's Art Sales Index. Egham, Eng.: Art Sales Index. (annual)
International sales from 1968 to the present; paintings, works of art, miniatures, sculpture, prints, photographs.

Mayer [International Auction Records]. Paris: Guide Mayer. (annual)
International sales from 1967 to 2005; paintings, prints, works on paper, sculpture, miniatures, photographs.


Gordon's Photography Price Annual International. Phoenix: LTB Gordonsart. (annual)
International sales from 1997 to the present.

Photographic Art Market. Langhorne, PA: Photograph Collector. (annual)
Sales held from 1980 to the present.

Books, ephemera, and maps:

American Book Prices Current. New York: Bancroft-Parkman. (annual)
Includes foreign titles.

L'Argus du livre de collection. St-Romain-au-Mt d'Or, France: Artprice. (annual)
Covers auctions mostly taking place in France

Book Auction Record: A Priced and Annotated Annual Record of International Book Auctions. Folkestone, Eng.: Dawson, 1903 – 1999.
International book auctions up to the end of the 1997 season

Used and rare book search service with over 70 million titles.

Bookman's Price Index: A Guide to the Values of Rare and Other Out of Print Books. Detroit: Thomson Gale. (annual)
Prices and availability of books in the U.S., Canada, and the British Isles.

Jahrbuch der Auktionspreise für Bücher, Handschriften und Autographen. Stuttgart: E. Hauswedell. (annual)
Auctions in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, and Switzerland.

Your Old Books
Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries has provided a guide that addresses some frequently asked questions about rare and older books and their values.


Check nearby public libraries for collectibles price guides, for example, Kovels' Antiques and Collectibles Price List and Warman's Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide.

Auction records on the Internet:

Contains over two and a half million auction records from more than 500 auction houses worldwide.
Subscription required for full database.

Contains information on over 300,000 artists and features over 21 million auction prices and indexes. Also includes biographical information and 36,000 signatures, monograms and symbols.
Subscription required for full database.

Contains information on over 35,000 artists. Includes auction records and artwork for sale.
Subscription required for full database.

Contains pre-sale and post-sale information for sale houses across United Kingdom, Europe, North America and Canada.
Subscription required for full database.

Auction sites on the Internet:

Online marketplace for trading widely varied categories of goods.

Trades antiques, fine art, and collectibles from a base of 1800 dealers and auction houses. Includes a catalog archive

Trades art, antiques, and collectibles auctions worldwide. Includes auction house catalogs and prices previously realized at auctions from the past ten years.

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Contact an appraiser:

An appraiser is a professional who determines the value or authenticity of a work of art or other materials. Before hiring, you may wish to inquire about the appraiser's qualifications and fees.

American Society of Appraisers

Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America

Antiques Roadshow (Public Broadcasting System television show)
Online Appraiser Index with contact information of experts that have been featured on the show.

Appraisers Association of America, Inc.
Search online database for association members.

This auction house also features valuation days when patrons can bring in a limited number of artworks for a brief appraisal.

Christie's Appraisals, Inc.

International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR)
Provides authentication services (Telephone 212-391-6234). IFAR charges an initial, non-refundable $250 deposit at the inquiry stage. This will be applied to the basic $2,000 cost if IFAR is able to undertake the research and the client and IFAR agree to proceed.

International Society of Appraisers

An expert-reviewed, online marketplace for valuable fine and decorative arts. Provides free appraisals for items over $1,000.

Los Angeles Modern Auctions


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Browse appraisal information on the Internet:

Internet Public Library
Thorough guide covering antiques and collectibles appraisal.

Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO)
Extensive referral list of sites with appraisal, authentication, conservation, and research information.