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Sense and Sensibility

Posted Sep 30, 2015
Written by Fran Zeman
Category General

According to Yann Walther, head of the Swiss firm Fine Art Expert Institute (as quoted in an article by Nina Larson published by the on-line art newsletter artdaily.org), somewhere between 70% and 90% of the artworks the FAEI examines turns out to be by an artist other than that indicated by the signature. Mr. Walther contends that there is no shortage of paintings to verify through certain scientific tests, which can reveal fakes based on time period/artist materials. There are other, more extensive procedures that may be required. One of Mr. Walther’s more notable quotes in the article is: "When you buy an apartment, you always get an appraisal first," he added. "But in the art world, until recently, you could buy works for €10 million without sufficient documentation”. 
Harkening back to the Knoedler Gallery closing and the issues in the news surrounding the sales of fakes/forgeries, relying on the word of others, even those who “talk the talk,” is but one step to follow in building a clear path to a credible purchase. An independently prepared, objective evaluation and valuation for the art and objects being considered for purchase is one of the critical steps to take and a key component of due diligence. An appropriate first step would be to contact an accredited appraiser to move any project forward.