11/16/2018, 11:58 AM

When purchasing artworks, including those by modern artists, a buyer wants to obtain a guarantee of their authenticity. To meet this requirement the artists or the art dealer issues a certificate of the artwork authenticity. Let’s talk about it in more details. What is a certificate of authenticity? It is a document that confirms the individuality of the artwork as well as that it was really created by the indicated artist. It contains all the necessary information about the artwork including the name, year of creation, used materials, size, the photograph of the artwork, and certainly the artist’s name and signature. The certificate is duly protected. If you for instance buy a piece of photo-art fr om a limited edition, the certificate must contain the copy number. Certificates of authenticity can be provided by art sellers, i.e. art galleries, modern artists, private art dealers. They are also delivered with purchased paintings at auctions, including online auctions such as eBay and LiveAuctioneers. When buying a painting you should specify whether and when a certificate is delivered and if it contains all the above-mentioned information. If you are purchasing a painting created by artists of the past, both famous and not, the certificate can be signed by a skillful and credible art expert. How skillful and credible the expert is, can be checked online. In any case it is crucial to check the availability and the content of the certificate before purchasing an artwork. The certificate must contain contact information about the person who signed it. If the information is outdated and you cannot contact the artist or the expert, don’t worry as the telephone or email address can have changed. 

Ask the gallery or the person who is selling you an artwork to provide update contacts. If you are purchasing an artwork with history, it should be accompanied by a document with names of former owners, art-dealers and the galleries that used to sell it. This artwork must be mentioned in catalogues and known by art historians (experts specializing in work of a certain artist or a certain period of art history). The history of an artwork or provenance, as experts say, is very important for authentication. The gallery must have this information, but, to be on the safe side, you can turn to independent experts to identify the former owners of the artwork and to track its way to the gallery, wh ere you are going to buy it. The artwork’s authenticity can be also confirmed by information of its participations in art exhibitions or big auctions. Equally favorable would be references to the artwork in specialized literature like memories or catalogues of an artist or an art historian. These resources do not only mention names of famous artists. Significant is the reputation of the art dealer or the gallery selling the artwork. Check this in advance and make sure they are safe to deal with. A certificate of authenticity can be beneficial both for the art collector and the artist. A dispute over the artwork authenticity and authorship, which may occasionally arise, can be easily settled by turning to the gallery that sold the artwork.  

This confirmation of authenticity of the artworks you have bought will be reliable protection of you investments in art.