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…)