Appraisal

Even Trash Can Be Turned Into Art Treasure with Proper Conservation

Shockingly, this stunning piece was found flaking and dingy in the garbage! An inept attempt was made to “restore” it that involved an abundant application of wax to hold the painting together and a wipe with solvent to remove part of the dirt.

The Dumpster Diver who discovered the painting donated it to a collector who recognized that under the disaster of flaking paint, wax, and grime, there was a valuable vintage piece.  Some research and careful examination yielded the title and date: “The Discussion” from 1929.  This discovery prompted the collector to contact us for a closer examination and professional conservation treatment. (more…)

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Tips for Collectors: Protecting Yourself from Counterfeit and Fraudulent Art

Real versus Fake?

Distinguishing a genuine work of art from a counterfeit wannabe stands at the base of every collector’s worry. “Fakes” are not always an effort to deceive.  However, most “fakes” are fraudulent. Here are a few different scenarios to consider:

  • An artist’s estate can ethically add an artist’s signature to a piece post mortem in an effort to identify the estate and the artist on artwork that was unsigned originally.
  • An unscrupulous art dealer can add a signature to make the artwork more valuable.  Even the counterfeit signature of an unknown name can make the artwork more valuable than an unsigned painting.
  • A “new” painting can be antiqued to look old.
  • An old painting can be restored ineptly in order  to mask or disguise repairs that it changes the nature of the artwork and the art is no longer an “original.”
  • Old artwork, now dirty, can be mistaken for something it is not.  This can be an honest mistake by a collector or dealer.

Here are two interesting examples that recently came into the lab: (more…)

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