Counterfeit

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…)

Share