An Art Collector’s Guide to Check Provenance Authenticity

by Alisha Sharma Go4Customer

“Allow your passion to become your purpose and one day it will become your profession.”

All those of you who have followed this quote and are art collectors today, pat your backs. Do so as it takes a considerable amount of valor to stick to your passion even when it gets tough to hoe your row. It gets even tougher when the passion you have is as spendthrift as that of art collecting. Forget about collecting for a while, even if you buy few pieces of art occasionally round the year, it proves to be a costly affair, especially, for a middle-class person. That is why investing in art, even after being under the constant fear of getting forged is quite daunting.

Nevertheless, forgers do have many ways to trap you into buying a reproduction at the price of an original. The first thing they do to make you believe their say is showing a provenance. For those of you who don’t know what a provenance is, it is the history of ownership of an artwork. It is a document that proves the genuineness of an art piece. This document always shows the name of the creator of the work, its history of ownership and the value of its appraisal.

So, irrespective of which class you belong to, you all know the true value of your hard earned money. Thus, I believe not even a single one of you would want to realize later that they have purchased a fake painting at the price of an original. Isn’t it?

Don’t worry! We have always got your back. Read this blog to know the top five tips to buy original paintings by ascertaining if the provenance form you are seeing is original or fake.

1.    Provenance Comes in Many Forms

There are various kinds of provenance forms available. A document that has the statement of authenticity signed by the artist or some expert is the best provenance paper. Original sale receipts, appraisal given by an expert or a direct receipt from the artist also makes up for good provenance proofs. Sadly, anything can be faked in today’s world.

Nonetheless, besides these options, you should also consider getting a verbal confirmation. Also, remember to store the authenticity document in your artwork archive account and not doing so can prove to be unsafe. After getting the confirmation verbally, request them for a hard copy.  Make sure that the documents you have in your hand are certified by the credentials of the individuals or the gallery.

2. See the Provenance First Always

The forger will always try to trap celebrated art collectors like you by saying that they need to protect the documents as it is unethical to reveal the identity of the individuals who have previously owned the work. Don’t ever fall for it. If the seller isn’t willing to provide you the essential documents to prove authenticity, don’t buy it. For instance, you might find a Durga painting that has had your heart in one go, but no matter how badly you want to buy that original Durga painting, if there is no valid proof, abstain from buying it. Also, it is quite obvious that signed artworks are no provenance, documents that mention the origin of an artwork are always required. Just analyze the documents given to you in order to know if they are fake or real.

3. Appraisal Is Not a Provenance

An appraisal in value isn’t a true indicator of the artist or the era in which that artwork has been made. However, yes, if the appraiser has a proven record of expertise in a certain era or artist, you can rely on their words for the value of the work and not anything else. We say so as usually the appraisers consider the work as an original and tell you its value according to their estimate.

4. Be Sure Your Provenance is substantiated

Art collectors and enthusiasts like you should never take documents shown to you at face value. Remember the documents are worth nothing until the time they are verified. Either develop the required skills or hire some expert to analyze the signature and the name of previous owners. Check the list of previous ownership online.

5. Trust Qualified Authorities Only

No one can become a qualified art advisor merely by claiming or looking like an expert. The person needs to have some concrete background and practice. Ask if the expert has done some research on the artist, he teaches some course or has published some papers.

Now that you know this, all you celebrated art collectors can buy the old original artworks you want to buy without any worry.

Happy Buying!

About Alisha Sharma Innovator   Go4Customer

37 connections, 0 recommendations, 97 honor points.
Joined APSense since, August 25th, 2015, From Noida, India.

Created on Mar 29th 2018 04:36. Viewed 174 times.


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