If you are in the market to sell an Andy Warhol print, we are here to guide you through all the important considerations and to ensure your print ends up in the right hands, for the right price, in the right condition and at the right time. Here are a few pieces of expert advice before you start your journey.
Prints can vary in value according to a number of factors: the edition size, colourway, subject matter, whether the print is after a popular Warhol painting, condition and quality. As Andy Warhol's market is mature, and remains very active, and given the editioned nature of prints, it’s easy to get a sense of market value by looking at recent sales prices online and researching auction prices across the major auction houses.
In 2022, signed limited edition Andy Warhol prints sold for anywhere between £2000 and £4,070,148 at auction. At the top end of this range, a Ten Marilyns print, the compiled 10 silkscreens, broke the record for most expensive Andy Warhol print sold at auction, to date, when it was offered by Christie’s in May 2022.
While this can give you a ballpark estimate of how much you can hope to sell for, the best way to value an Andy Warhol work is to ask a specialist to take a look. At MyArtBroker, we offer free, zero-obligation valuations, just get in touch here.
Additionally, our soon to launch, dedicated print market index, MyPortfolio, will be able to offer the more nuanced and case-by-case answers demanded by this question; click here to find out more.
If you’re a seller of an Andy Warhol print, it behooves you to only offer it if you’re 100% certain that it’s genuine. This may seem like an obvious observation — but it’s not. The problem is that many sellers who offer fake Warhols don’t do so intentionally. They simply don’t know that they’re sitting on a fake. It is often the case that art authenticators aren't hired to examine Warhol prints coming from regional auction houses, where the print turns out not to be correct. In these cases, it is very likely that the auction house didn’t know. That’s because smaller auction companies are generalists. They’re rarely experts on individual artists — there are too many works, and too many objects, and therefore too much to learn to become specialist.
If you believe you own a Warhol, but aren’t completely certain, hire an art authenticator to research it. This service can be facilitated through private sellers like us. At the very least, you’ll know what you own. If it turns out to be a genuine Warhol print, you’ll be in a much better position to sell it, donate it for tax purposes, and insure it. If it turns out to be bogus, you’ll stay out of trouble when you go to sell it, not waste money hiring an appraiser so you can donate it, and not squander additional funds insuring it.
If you choose to sell your Warhol print, and it’s not in great condition, you will probably encounter a problem. There aren’t many collectors who will buy a print by a blue-chip artist that has a condition issue.
As a seller it would be wise to have a paper conservator inspect your print before offering it. If your impression of a Warhol Muhammad Ali has some foxing around the edges — from being framed with a cardboard mat rather than acid-free rag board — an ace conservator can easily bleach it out so it looks like new. The same holds true for the removal of residue left on the back of the print from non-archival hinges. Whatever the conservator charges you is well worth it because you’ll be able to get so much more for your Warhol print. Rather than “location, location, location” (as they say in real estate), you should be thinking “condition, condition, condition.”
Find out more in our guide to restoring and caring for modern and contemporary prints.
As the saying goes, “Timing is everything.” That axiom certainly holds true with Warhol prints. It’s worth thinking carefully about when you sell – if a similar piece is on the secondary market you don’t want to compete against each other and drive prices down. Moreover, while it’s impossible to time any collectibles market, if the most recent auction sale achieves record prices for Warhol, it’s probably a good time to sell to make a profit.
35 years after his death Warhol continues to break records. Recently, for example in the wake of the record-breaking sale of Shot Sage Blue Marilyn in May 2022, Marilyn prints have been steadily increasing in value.
Entering 2023, one rising demand in Warhol's market worth noting is for complete sets: complete sets are now considered trophies of Warhol’s print portfolios and we have seen increasing demand for sets with matching editions numbers. Complete sets accounted for 43% of total sales value in 2021, rising to 50% of sales value in 2022; approximately six times that of 2017. If you are lucky enough to own a complete set of Warhol prints— for example, Endangered Species, Ads, or Ladies and Gentlemen— it is worth keeping an eye on the market in 2023. You could be looking at impressive returns on your initial purchase price, as Warhol's mature market continues to grow year on year.
Or, read our 2023 American Pop Print Report here.
Sellers of original Andy Warhol masterpieces, one-of-a-kind works love the auction houses. And why shouldn’t they? For openers, they have the world’s greatest ‘rolodexes’ — the top auction houses between them know virtually every serious collector in the world. That means your Warhol painting will be offered to a wide array of collectors — which could lead to some spirited bidding for a unique work of art…
The story is slightly different for prints where the market is larger, the opportunities are broader and there is not the same incentive to bid deep on a work produced in a multiple.
The downside to working with an auction house is their ever-escalating buyers and sellers premiums. This means there’s a lot of money left on the table — some of which could go into your pocket if you work with a private sales partner. The is true of consigning anything with auction, but more so with prints and multiples, where you might have to compete with another consignor for your print to appear in the next sale. Since a print is a multiple, another collector may have beaten you to the punch, and offered them the same impression before you. This means the auction house probably won’t take your copy until the next print sale (six months later).
Working with a private sale partner presents a more reliable approach. A private sales partner, like MyArtBroker will be able to negotiate immediate payment for your print from a collector, bringing you even more money and get you paid sooner. For example, if you own a Warhol Cowboys and Indians print portfolio, and there is a specific request for one in the private seller’s network, the portfolio will get a good price right now. With the auction houses, if the next print sale is five months off and you need the money now, you’re out of luck.
Finally, a private seller might simply buy the print from you. Top dealers and galleries always need inventory — especially the most desirable Warhol prints. If you’re sitting on a choice Marilyn or another important Warhol, you can approach a private seller with confidence and ask for an outright purchase, and the better your Warhol print, the more leverage you have.
In recent years, a plethora of online art market platforms have appeared. These websites have proliferated because of a growing desire for convenience. The entertainment factor can also not be underestimated. Buyers and sellers have become increasingly comfortable buying art online. The advantage to selling online is that your property is exposed to an international audience — which means you’ll have every opportunity to find a buyer. Also, the online platform takes care of all the logistics of a sale.
However, as a seller you have a responsibility to be accurate with your listing. You especially need to be honest about the work’s condition and authenticity. This is why working with a great online art platform that will vet everything as carefully as possible for you—such as MyArtBroker—is highly recommended.
Selling online usually works best with prints and photographs. A potential buyer of a Warhol Mickey Mouse knows every impression is alike. A painting by Warhol, which depicts the same subject, is unique and comes with its assorted quirks and variables. It’s hard to buy paintings online unless you’re very experienced with an artist’s oeuvre and have a feeling for a work’s surface quality. With a Warhol print, as long as you’ve seen at least one example of the image you’re considering, you know what you’re purchasing.
MyArtBroker will introduce you to your own personal expert broker who will find you a buyer and guide you through the process without any charge to you— you can get to know our friendly specialists here. Our brokers will help you with authenticity and condition checking, offer advice on realistic sale prices and the optimal time to sell plus manage the negotiation from start to finish.
As we value your prints as much as you do, our brokers will always ensure they negotiate the best price for you. Even better, it’s free to sell!
With over 30,000 collectors buying and selling artwork daily, and over 75,000 visitors to our website every month, at MyArtBroker we have a worldwide network of private collectors, brokers and galleries to help you find the right buyer at the right price.
Our online platform also lets us market your piece discreetly, saving you the hassle of dealing with potential buyers or the stress of an auction. It also means your artwork is on display 24 hours a day, reaching your target market while you get with other things.