You are here:

Fine Art/identifying artwork


I need to have a piece of artwork shipped to me but I have no idea of its value or what is the best way to ship it.  there are two pictures attached.

Hi Mark,
I only see the one picture attached. This is the small closeup of the signature, and I cannot identify that immediately. I will guess from the glare this is perhaps a watercolor under glass?  

I generally feel very comfortable using UPS or FedX for shipping. There is an outfit called Mailboxes ETC near me, and if I don't have a box they'll usually build one inexpensively for me. Use lots of bubble wrap.  Buy this in big rolls at Staples.  You should be fine.  I have used USPS as well for smaller items.

Other shipping thoughts.  When I have an expensive or large picture in an antique frame to ship, I will sometimes contact AirFloat Systems ( and purchase a STRONGBOX from them.  They ship me a box that really looks like the Queen of England might use to ship her silverware.  A bit pricey, but if the picture is a beautiful old antique worth a lot, I sleep better.  

In general, I prefer just plenty o' bubble wrap and the standard shipping services. BUT, I will pay up for express services such as 1 or 2 day air.  The fewer "touches" (trips through distribution centers, airports, trucks) the better.  

Finally, I label everything in a big marker: FRAGILE on all sides of the box.  I also indicate a TOP with arrows or THIS SIDE UP.  It just is one more reminder not to carelessly chuck my package around.

If neither you nor the shipping party knows the value of the picture, then I'd venture to guess that it not worth more than a hundred dollars or so.  Just a guess, so please pardon me if I'm wildly wrong.  

Mark, good luck with your project.  I hope it is a nice piece of artwork that you or someone you know might fully enjoy.

[***Also, I don't usually do this, but I am changing my answer to PUBLIC on this board, as I don't think there is anything unduly private about your question, and if we can share the general thoughts written here about shipping artwork, others might benefit. ***]  

Fine Art

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Stuart Cartwright


American Fine Art Paintings.
Oils, Watercolors, Sketches. Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century. Hudson River School, Pennsylvania Academy, Cape Ann artists, Ash Can, Woodstock, Florida Indian River, American Impressionists, etc. I can provide some background about artists and perhaps a rough appraisal or guidance towards obtaining a value. I am acquainted with many of the best American art dealers and auction houses. Original works only, I do not follow the print market. I do NOT field questions about prints.

Important to know
I am not expert in European art. I encourage you to send questions on European artists to other experts on this service. NO PRINTS:I encourage you to seek help on prints elsewhere. Two sites come to mind: and


I have been collecting original American Fine Art for over 20 years. I have curated art shows, and I have served as a dealer, providing appraisals and guidance for the last 8 years.

Bachelor of Arts Master of Business Administration

©2017 All rights reserved.