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Fine Art/The appreciation of art


We have an oil painting of my husband's father, and several graphite renderings and watercolors of family members that were all damaged in an unfortunate incident involving a toilet.  The insurance company is trying to depreciate the value of the art.  I cannot find any information on the artists and all family who could help are deceased.  Does art of this type typically depreciate?  I can understand it not necessarily appreciating, but does it depreciate?  Can you help?

Dear Janet, Portraits are at the bottom of the art market, unless the subject is historically important or the artist is important the value is minimal. If your portraits are not by a major listed artist they were likely worth little to begin with. I cannot answer your insurance questions.

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Daniel A. Hynes


Collecting, buying, selling, identifying, and caring for paintings, drawings,and watercolors (19th and early 20th century American and European). No prints, contemporary art, or works executed after 1940.


35 years as a fine art dealer, including 3 years as a gallery director. Also was art expert for Leslie Hindman's Auctioneers, and for Dunning's Auction.

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