What are the important points to remember when listing items in the Fine Art Lane?
Here are the Top Ten "Fine Art Lane" Listing Errors:
10. Listing an item as fine art based entirely on price. The fact that an item is of high value is not a criterion for listing in the Fine Art Lane. The judgment as to whether or not something conforms to expectations for the designation Fine Art is not one that is made according to price, but according to the nature of the object under consideration.
9. Listing a piece of art and presenting it with only a single photograph. All too often this one photo is taken from a distance, in bad light or with an inadequate camera. These can result in a photo that seems so far away, dark, grainy or blurred, that it is impossible to see either the actual beauty of the artwork or any important details that may be present. Related issues would be listing paintings without showing a clear photo of the reverse, which can reveal damage or repairs to the canvas; or without mentioning existing damage or repairs in an item description, even though these may be readily apparent to the seller.
8. Adding to a listing the suggestion that the artwork comes with a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) without showing the document to the buyer in the listing or mentioning from what authority it was issued or whose signature it bears. The seller of Fine Art should be forthright in providing potential buyers the ability to consider any such certifying document. COA's, like some works of art, can have a suspect provenance.
7. Listing works of art without showing an photo of an artist's signature, an edition number or visible foundry marks. Although not specifically required that these be illustrated in the general Fine Art category, it can be an important concern for shoppers to visually examine them prior to purchase.
If listed in the Antique category of Fine Art, and an artist's signature or Remarque is present, the artist's markings on the item must be shown and be clearly readable in at least one photo.
6. Inserting too much information in an item description, such as creating long lists of names of all other famous artist's an artist ever associated with, or the names of the many famous people they painted, etc.. This habit can have the effect of becoming keyword spam in site searches. Highly detailed, keyword rich information of this type can be placed within the non-searchable field if desired, but to help maintain search engine relevancy for shoppers, biographical information about an artist should be as relevant only to the specific artwork being offered as possible.
5. Listing non-authentic copies of an artist's work.
4. Listing miniature paintings housed in jewelry findings, such as portrait subject paintings on ivory in brooches or pendants. All jewelry pieces must be listed in the Jewelry Lane, regardless of whether a portion of it has the appearance of being 'art.'
3. Listing items classifiable as Decorative or Applied Arts as 'Fine Art.' Shops may be listing objects that fall under other classifications in this Lane because they honestly are unaware there are differences. Others may be placing non-qualifying items in this Lane solely because the Fine Art Lane has no specification as to age and their items do not meet age requirements in other areas of the site. In diluting search parameters for this Lane with these types of non-qualifying items a disservice is done to fellow shop owners who list fine art items.
Note: A fundamental and recognizable difference exists between Fine Art and the Decorative Arts in professional nomenclature. Only items that meet the recognized definition of Fine Art qualify to be listed in the Fine Art Lane.
Artisan-type, hand made items, whether decorative in nature or functional, will almost always fall under the heading of Applied Arts. And a porcelain item factory made for decoration or specifically to appeal to collectors of that maker's porcelain is not sculpture. Regardless of whether issued in a very 'limited edition,' factory-made porcelain figurines do not meet Ruby Lane's classification for 'Fine Art'. Decorative production pieces belong to the category of Decorative Arts and should be listed in a more appropriate Lane.
2. Listing prints that are not numbered limited editions; or listing commonly available mass-produced prints from large print runs. Prints from extreme print runs may indeed be numbered and signed by the artist, but the extended commercialized range of the edition would prevents them from being truly limited in nature. Prints from editions produced in excess of 1500 copies cannot qualify to be listed in Fine Art Lane.
And the number one listing error in the Fine Art Lane:
1. Listing anonymous works of art not signed by the original artist and not authenticated as created by any specific artist. In order to qualify for listing in this Lane an item needs to have been created by the original artist (not a copy of another's work), been created under their direction or made with their consent. Without knowing who actually made a piece, that item cannot be an authenticated artwork.
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