Secrets the Other Appraisers Won’t Tell You

Secrets the Other Appraisers Won’t Tell You

Every profession has trade secrets. They are not in any reference book but are passed down verbally from old art appraisers to younger ones. They are the difference between experienced professionals and amateurs pretending to be experts so they can get merchandise for their stores.

Pre-Columbian Art – one authentication technique is taste. Does it taste like it has been in the soil.

Antique Furniture – wood becomes lighter with age as it dries out. By lifting a corner of a piece of furniture, you can tell how it compares to modern wood.

Ivory Carvings – Ivory always remains cool to the touch; plastic replicas warm to the temperature of the room.

Old Documents and Letters – old paper is strong and in excellent condition. Modern paper browns and soon crumbles. Generally, the older the document, the better the condition.

Antique Paintings – you can tell the entire history of a painting by looking at the back of it. Gallery labels, auction stickers, museum inventory numbers are frequently there. The experienced professional can read and interpret these for you. They can even tell you how old labels are by the type and when certain handwriting styles were practiced. They can even date writing by the type of ink and pen used. These are important when you are trying to tell how old an antique painting is.

You can tell the age of an antique painting by the type of paint used. Chemical analysis can confirm an oil painting was painted in a certain country and century. For instance, lead tin white was used in Holland in the time of Rembrandt and Vermeer, not the titanium white in use today. The color ultramarine blue was made in the 15th and 16th century from ground up semi-percious lapis lazuli stones. Today we use a chemical equivalent. Many of the Old Masters used a color “green earth” but after the 19th century artists used viridian for their greens. Authentication of important Old Master paintings is an exacting science, not based on gut-feeling. Make sure your painting appraiser has a complete list of what paints were used in which countries in each century. This is the difference between an amateur and an experienced professional art appraiser.

In over 50 years, we haven’t just established business contacts, but old friends in the industry. We know what is going on behind the scenes in the auction market, Bills before Congress, what insurance companies need in proof before paying a claim. We even know which artists are unauthenticatable because the experts are tied up in burdensome law suits. We are aware what artists are being quietly collected by museums in anticipation of a big exhibit, and which artists galleries are selling as fast as they put them out. We even participate in authenticity research testing and chemical comparison in cutting-edge labs. They come to us for sample material from private collectors and museums. University graduate students bring to us their new research findings for our recommendations on book publishers.

When you have an item appraised by us, you just don’t get a value, you get an education. We are a complete art appraisal service.

Use an experienced professional not just a number provider.

Minimum fee $125.00

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