"Art authentication" vs "Art appraisal"
An Art Authentication is not an Art Appraisal ... It's a common mistake in the US that people think an art appraisal equals an art authentication. It could not be more wrong. An art appraisal is an opinion of an item's value in fair market value or replacement value. It doesn't engage the art appraiser's responsibility if the painting is a fake or a copy. Fair Market vs Repalcement Value A/ Fair market value: The amount for which personal property would be sold in a voluntary transaction between a buyer and a seller. The auction value is most of the time considered as fair market value. B/ Replacement value: Replacement value or cost is the price an entity would pay to replace an existing asset at the current market price with a similar asset. Usually, the replacement asset is found in a gallery; that's why a replacement value is often compared with a gallery value. This gallery value is substantial as the value in auction, it may as well be double or triple the value of auction. An art authentication process includes: -Justification of authenticity by comparison with other works by the artist - Establish the place of the artwork in the "catalog raisonne" - Comparison with other works by the same artist of the same period. - Comparison with other artists of the same period or movement. - Research about the history, provenance, etc. - Establish and verify the history of the painting. - Graphology analysis of handwriting. ( rarely) - Signature analysis. ( always) - On-site analysis of the painting. ( if possible ) - Study of the pigments, usually when a COA was denied - Study of the support - Study of the manner. - Wood lamp test. Presentation of the file to the solely universal recognized expert for the artist. Each major artist has his own "SOLELY UNIVERSAL RECOGNIZED AUTHENTICATION EXPERT". COA & Galleries, Auction Houses Sotheby's, Christie's , whatever major gallery do not have the authority to give an authentication certificate for an artwork. Sotheby's and Christie's or any good auction house will consult the solely recognized authentication expert for an artist before accepting it in their auction. They should do so, but we know today that many fakes were sold in these major auction houses. Art expert responsibility Art experts, in general, may give an opinion at their responsibility ( Don't forget that in the US everybody can sue anybody for whatever reason..), for which they can be sued if the sole authenticator refuses to authenticate artwork. In the US because of this possibility to sue an individual or an organization several major institutions so the Warhol-Pollock-Haring-Dekooning-foundation decided to stop the service of authentication. For these painters, if you didn't receive an authentication before they decided to close the authentication service there is one solution left: making a file that proves the item's authenticity with indisputable and verifiable arguments. Art experts are reluctant to put in writing opinions because of the possibility to be sued: See Wildenstein, Warhol Foundation etc
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An Art Authentication is not an Art Appraisal ... It's a common mistake in the US that people think an art appraisal equals an art...