Secrets to Authenticating Signatures
(paintings, drawings & documents)
Determining whether a signature is real or a forgery is learning to look. The six main signature attributes we look at are:
Size – Does the artist generally sign their name small like Leonardo Da Vinci or large and flamboyant like Dali?
Slant – Are the letters straight and upright like Van Gogh or slanted like Picasso?
Style – Is the signature in block letters like Rockwell or written in a handwriting type script like Renoir?
Pressure – Are the letters written lightly like Monet or bold and dark like Michelangelo?
Spacing – What is the rhythm of the letter spacing? Some artists like Picasso have wider spaces between letters in the beginning of their name than at the end.
Patina – Has the signature been on the artwork for a length of time? Does it show signs of aging, deterioration, embedded dust and oxidation of the media? If it is dark and fresh looking, it is probably a modern forger.
Flow – Does the signature look like it has been written in one continuous movement or stops and starts at irregular places? If it doesn’t have a flow, it probably is the work of a copiest, stopping to look back at a real signature.
We have over 45 years of experience authenticating signatures on paintings, drawings and documents. Consult the experts who really know, not someone who is just giving you an educated guess.
For important works and documents we have complete scientific laboratory testing available. We are the only art appraisers that provides this valuable service.
We frequently supply authentication letters to the major New York auction houses, art dealers and eBay consignors. They find such documentation valuable and significantly increases the prices realized. Other appraisers use our scientific lab facilities. Special dealer appraisal rates are available with a contract.