Forgery, or the creation of rip-offs, is very prevalent in many facets of modern living: from clothes and shoes to high-fashion bags and even art. Paintings are some of the most replicated, and you don’t want to waste that precious money. Here are some tips to ensure that you don’t become the next fraud victim.
First is to study closely the back of paintings or, for sculptures, the bottom. Auction labels and/or auction stamps are often placed in the area. Forgers tend to take these areas for granted and just focus on making the front part look authentic.
Provenance documentation is something you should insist on. This is very important, especially to avoid legal trouble if, say, the artwork turns out to be authentic but actually stolen. In line with this, make sure that the said provenance is exactly for the artwork you’re buying and not just borrowed from some other work. Of course, you’ve to look closely at the document and ensure that it isn’t fake.
It goes without saying that you should only buy from a dealer with a great track record. Buying online can be tempting and is definitely more convenient but being physically present in a reputable gallery is the best way to buy. Finally, requesting for forensic tests is now becoming the norm when buying artifacts and art, so ask for this from your dealer.
Sadigh Gallery is a family-owned ancient art gallery in New York that specializes in the handling and selling of ancient art, artifacts, and coins from all over the world. For related reads, visit this blog.