We have all heard the stories of finding lost art, buried treasure worth millions. I am a true believer that they are out there in people’s possessions that are simply unaware of its value. On the other side, I caution by clients when they are considering the purchase of a “lost treasure” as an investment. This article provides tips before investing in art.
Art dealing continues to be an unregulated business with a high potential for fraud. Even the best intended people may be fooled into thinking their artwork is authenticate so when they sell the same piece the fraudulent artwork continues to pass hands.
If you are considering the purchase of high value art here are some tips before investing:
- Is this something you can afford to lose? In other words, if it turns out it your artwork is not authenticate can you afford to lose the money you spent on it?
- Know the history and seller. You should never buy high value artwork from an unknown source. The seller should be well known to you or be a credible referral. In addition, the seller should have documentation (provenance) or reliable knowledge of who has own the artwork as far back as possible.
- Know your artist. You should know the signature, medium and style of the artist you are considering so that you can more easily spot a fake.
Its always best to partner with your trusted art broker or contact us to help. Although we do not authenticate artwork, we can help you with the identification and coordination of a qualified expert. You can read more about the difference between an authenticator vs appraiser as part of our “Did You Know” blog.