Tips of the trade w/ Sara Starr

Art Authentication: How to tell if a piece is what it says it is










Art authentication can get complicated and sometimes takes an extended amount of time and research. Nevertheless, here are some things to look for and/or consider when determining whether or not a piece is authentic, or if you find yourself questioning an upcoming purchase:

Tips of the Trade: Is it real or fake?
Tips of the Trade: Is it real or fake?






Determining the age of the piece, condition, conservation efforts, and matching the signature to the artist in question are a few key practices in understanding if the artwork is authentic, or if it was a forged piece.





If it’s possible and/or available, you should collect the provenance from the previous owner.

The provenance helps answer questions like: where did the painting come from? Who are the previous owners? Was the painting submitted for any conservation or restoration efforts?

Tips of the Trade: Is it real or fake?
Tips of the Trade: Is it real or fake?






Research the catalogue raisonné and any exhibition catalogs relating to the artist. Most catalog owners are very inclined to share resources for little to no cost, and many libraries and museums hold these books as well.






Seek out experts in the field or artists’ works. Experts may ask for compensation for their time and research, ranging from $100 – 5,000, but this can arguably be the most tried-and-true way to go about getting a piece authenticated.

Tips of the Trade: Is it real or fake?
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