You are here:

Fine Art/Selling a valuable oil painting


My mother gave my wife and I two paintings of some value some time back. One is by an artist named Tomislav(I'm not sure that the spelling is correct on the name) and the other is by Kipness. We have the certficates that came with the paintings when they were purchase at Merrill( or is it Merrill Chase) galleries in Chicago during the 70's or 80's. The Kipness also has a personal note in pencil on the back of the frame. We understand that the value of the paintins some years ago was roughly $6000 for the Tomislav and perhaps twice that for the Kipness. We have decided to sell the paintings and would like to do it sooner rather than later. Given that we live in the mountains of Western North Carolina in a rural area where there are no galleries can you tell me how we might go about the task at hand and yet getting the highest price that we can for the works? Your advice will be appreciated. Thank you.

Dear Bill,

I hope you are doing well and thank you for your question. My first recommendation for collectors wishing to get a current value on their art is to contact the gallery that sold the art, or the gallery/publisher that represents the artist. However, Merrill Chase Galleries is no longer in business so you will need to find alternative sources for value.

There are several artists with the name of Tomislav, but the only one with listings in auction indices that I could find is Nicolic Tomislav. You may want to visit his website:, and see if his work is similar in style to the painting you have. The last auction (this spring) price (estimated by auction house), on one of his paintings, oil on canvas, was at $600-800. This may not be your artist since you were given a much higher value on your painting.

As far as the Kipness painting, I could not find an artist by that spelling, but found a Robert Kipniss listed. Robert Kipniss has done paintings, but appears to be better known for his original mezzotints and lithographs which can sell for over $10,000. You can see his work at: You will find him listed under contemporary artists on the home page. If this is your artist, Weinstein Gallery would be a good source for information on the value of his paintings and possible avenues for sale of your painting. Skinner Auction house has sold Kipniss paintings and therefore may be a good avenue for sale of your painting, (

Sell of art on the secondary market can be done most quickly on the internet auctions; but if you are in a hurry plan on getting a very low wholesale value for your paintings. Some galleries may offer to take the art on consignment, but they too will want to pay low wholesale or take a sizable percentage of the final sale price. Auction houses are another option and the speed of sale depends on the future dates of contemporary art auctions. You might want to ask Weinstein if they are interested. You can ship the art to interested galleries/auction houses that are not in your area. I hope this information is helpful and best of luck to you in the marketing of your art.

Best regards,

Fine Art

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Dolly D Headley


I can assist with identification, acquisition, sell representation, and care of fine art prints and original paintings. Some of my artist specialties include Henri Toulouse Lautrec, California Artists, and the Modern Masters. I can also assist with information on getting professional appraisals and authentication.


Dolly D. Headley, owner of Headley Fine Art, LLC, has provided consultative art services to retail gallery clients in Sausalito, CA, and at since 1998. With over 14 years experience as a Senior Art Consultant, Gallery Director, and an extensive art research library; Ms. Headley has provided hundreds of people with her high quality personalized consultation services and solid guarantee of satisfaction. Dolly is a volunteer at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

Member of the Association of Online Appraisers.

The Fine Art Collectors News

Bachelor of Science; Self taught with thousands of hours research and retail gallery consulting. Personalized mentorship from various experts in the industry.

©2017 All rights reserved.