cover image A Field Guide to Procuring and Profiting in Fine Art

A Field Guide to Procuring and Profiting in Fine Art

Brett K. Maly. Bear N Desert, $16.95 trade paper (118p) ISBN 978-0-9915380-0-3

Maly, best known as the art appraiser on the reality TV show Pawn Stars, helps readers navigate the murky waters of art collecting and selling in this introductory guide, which aims to keep newbies to the trade from spending or expecting too much. Maly begins at the most basic level, explaining how watercolors differ from oil paintings and the importance of a piece’s provenance, as well as debunking the debatable value of “limited editions,” lest customers get fleeced. Maly’s advice ranges from the obvious (preview an estate sale online before jumping in your car) to the specific (how to identify the plate mark on etchings and engravings), with practical tips for identifying flaws that can affect even the most valuable artwork’s value. Maly does his best to keep expectations low—the chances of finding a lost Picasso at a garage sale or on Craigslist are minuscule, he notes. While the advice is practical and well-suited for a novice readership, much of the information could be easily gleaned in an afternoon of searching on the web or at the local library. [em](BookLife) [/em]