FREQUENTLY  ASKED  QUESTIONS Art Authentication Experts - Art Appraisers - art valuers. Art Experts serving UK< EUROPE< USA - Canada - Australia and South America


Our  Most   Frequently  Asked  Questions


About us

 We are international fine art consultants specializing in directing and conducting investigations into the legitimacy and authenticity of fine art for over 45 years.

Authenticity investigations can lead to the fully recognized, international acceptance of legitimacy, or a well established and globally acknowledged attribution to a previous anonymous artist or studio.

We conduct multilingual international archival research, administer full provenance scrutiny and confirmation studies, due diligence and duty of care assignments for clients and both academic and forensic art analysis, working from bases in Europe the UK and North America.

Our clients are ordinary individuals from all walks of life and the corporate sector such: law firms, auctioneers, principal and municipal art galleries, curators of collections, insurers and investment companies, as well as private investor collectors.




Before you write to us please note:

  We receive a large number of requests from individuals who believe we are a free information and reference service and I am afraid we are not.

 As we are not sponsored nor have any annoying pop ups and do accept any kind of paid advertising on this site, this is not possible.

Our services and expertise are professional issues and reserved for those people who require our expert help and advise.

Expertise which will be happily provided on this basis.








Our Most Frequently Asked Questions Follow:



Forensic handwriting analysts



NOTE  *Appraisals are 'Valuations'.

'Authentication' is verifying the legitimacy and authenticity of a work of art and is quite different.

The two terms are entirely separate issues.



Q: Why do we not publish our addresses or telephone numbers ?


Answer:  Security.

 We share huge time zone differences with clients around the world. We therefore prefer to contact you with agreed and acceptable times to speak.





 Art Authentication investigations leading to a full qualification of legitimacy, cannot be absolutely verified from photographs alone.

 We therefore independently undertake comprehensive investigations into works of art and their provenance, inspect, collect and retrieve relevant information and evidence in support of the clients case.


*This is with a view to presenting the facts in the final analysis, to the fully recognized, appropriate and legally accredited expert, panel, body or committee, set in place to protect that particular artists rights. It is only to them that we can turn for their unanimous internationally accepted judgement.


 We do not, under any circumstances issue 'Certificates of Authenticity'.

We are not the copyright holders of the artist, nor the legally recognized official body protecting the artists rights.


 If a client instructs us to conduct a full investigation into their work/works of art, after the preliminary assessment of viability study, we will enter into our standard contractual agreement with them, specifying the details, financial obligations, stages and rates.

This contract also covers non disclosure and privacy of information which the client is protected by. It does not need to be duplicated. See our Privacy section.



Q: I have an old painting signed by artist  'X'  and  I need it  AUTHENTICATING .

How much will it cost?


Answer: All investigations are entirely different from each other and will take different amounts of time and effort and conducted in different locations to process.

This is a question that cannot be definitively answered.




The Preliminary Assessment of Viability is the very first step in the authentication process.


If you have works of art with a claim they are by any Old or Modern master, it suggests that if proven legitimate, the value of the work of art may be financially significant. This process is therefore very necessary.


  • A 'pre-authentication assessment', is an independent professional study of the viability of the case as presented to us.

    Based upon the information you supply us with about it, its background, acquisition details and your images.

    It is a study that balances the likelihood of success or failure in progressing further.

  • If we feel that it would be an improbable or impossible task to undertake with reasonable chances of success, or immediately identify negative issues which we would likely not be able to overcome, we will inform you of the facts and you can make a decision to continue further with an investigation or not.

  • With authentication, investigations have to be rigorous and thorough in both quality and breadth of research and as such, the client must be in a position to finance an investigation fully.

  • Obviously, we cannot guarantee the final outcome of any investigation we undertake.






 We do not, as a matter of firm company policy, undertake any work for clients, at any level, on the basis that we will be recompensed, paid for our efforts, or remunerated for expenses incurred, from the possible future proceeds of a sale.




A/ The work of art may or may not turn out to be authentic.

B/ The client may decide not to sell the work of art, even if it is proven legitimate.

C/ And it is always a possibility that it may not actually be sold.



Undertaking the Pre - Authentication Assessment, please be prepared to:

Send us the very best images you can.

Along with the work of art's full history and provenance as you know it, along with any supporting evidence or documentation that you may have.

  • The Preliminary assessment of viability is a prepaid study.

  • The review and advisory of this kind is currently set at our standard rate of $150.00 USD. or its equivalent - per work of art irrespective.

  • This fee may be met preferably by MoneyGram or other agreed format with us.

  • Firm company policy is such that prior to embarking on any full authenticity investigation, we conduct a pre-authentication
    assessment for clients first and there are no exceptions to this.

  • Please recognize that Pre-authentication assessments and studies of viability are NOT full investigations.
    They do not result in a full report being sent to clients.



We do not accept unsolicited images attached to email form enquiries and there is no function to send them from the CONTACT page.You may attach them in the normal manner to an e mail when we have written back to you.



Q: What guarantee do I have that my work of art is going to be authentic or valuable after I've paid you to do the job?

Answer: None at all.

 No one can guarantee the result of any investigation, certainly not before they know what the results of an investigation may be.



Q:  How long does it take to have a work of art authenticated and how much will the process cost me?

Answer: This too is an unknown quantity

 Research in many cases has to be physically conducted in the country of origin of the artist, particularly with major works of art purportedly by European Old and Modern masters. But that is less of a problem as we have bases in the UK and Europe.

Physical inspection of the work of art also has to be undertaken at some point.


Q: What then is the process of authentication?

Answer: We will work together with you in logical and progressive stages.

 After the initial pre-authentication assessment, the client should then be in a better poisition to understand what the realities are and balance the financial outlay required to progress the next stage. The client can then make a personal and rational judgment based on all the facts put before them.




 We reserve the absolute right to refuse to proceed with any project and retain the absolute right to quit, if there are any factors of illegality, deception, or collusion that emerge from it. Including deliberate misinformation or malfeasance.



Q: Do you provide written appraisals for insurance purposes, tax or family distribution?

Answer: Yes, we will upon request and a fee is charged for this process.

 You must firstly decide if this is necessary. Different insurance companies have different thresholds, (values below which they do not require an insurance document.) Speak to your insurers first.

We can also attempt to make retrospective assessments of value, as in the instance of theft, fire, loss or other damage.



Q: Do you do home visits, in person appraisals and offer art consultancy services and how much does it cost?

Answer: Yes and it is a service payable by the hour or part thereof, dependent entirely on where you are if travel costs are necessary.

Contact us directly for that information and a quote.



Q. How do we contact you?

Fill in the > Contact < form on the web site and tell us exactly how we may assist you.

Please double check the spelling of your email address






Q: Do you charge a PERCENTAGE %  of the value, or as part of the fee for any valuation appraisal?

Absolutely Not !


 Unlike many art appraisers, we do not charge a percentage of an items possible worth.

By charging a percentage part of an estimated value, this can make absolutely everything 'valuable' in the eyes of some unscrupulous appraisers and is in our view, both unprofessional and unethical.

We are ashamed that this practise is still being conducted by some of those within our professional ranks.



Q:  'Online Appraisals' (Evaluation) can it be done from  photos or digital images I send to you?


YES. But an appraisal of this kind is an ESTIMATION of value only.

It is intended to support and inform individuals considering purchasing a work of art 'on-line', with seller platforms such as Ebay or Invaluable, or a local in-house auctioneer and it is an 'opinion' only.

It does not approve and support the legitimacy or authenticity of such items, nor is it an Insurance Valuation, or a guaranteed Valuation for future family distribution or sale.

 If you are considering the possibilities surrounding a work of art's legitimacy being presented for sale on-line, please refer to the Authentication Issues section of the FAQ's above.   



If you plan to have an 'on line' assessment of estimated value of an item offered for sale, please try to:

  • Prepare and send us good quality digital images of a work you intend to sell on line, if possible take them in normal daylight conditions and with the camera positioned on a tripod or flat surface to avoid camera shake and blur and do use the timer.

  • Please do not send blurred photos.

  • Send pictures of the front, back, detail and of any marks, signatures or inscriptions there may be for us to see and interpret.

  • Measure or obtain the dimensions of the work very accurately. Both  in inches (Imperial) and in millimetres, (Metric.)

  • Provide us with as much information and background history that you can and copies of any paperwork or documentation that may accompany the piece or item.


 An assessment of value on-line is made 'sight unseen' of the actual article and therefore no written valuation or report will be undertaken or delivered.




Privacy Policy:


The purpose of this statement is to explain to you what personal information we collect and how we may use it.

1/ The Freemanart Consultancy is committed to protecting your privacy and maintaining the security of any personal information we have received from you. We strictly adhere to the requirements of international data protection legislation, as specifically laid down by the governments of Canada, the UK and the European Union.

2/ When you use our future email contact form, we will ask you for your name, e-mail address and your personal contact information.

3/ We use your personal information only to respond to your question/s. Thereafter all and any correspondence remains entirely confidential and between us.
4/ We do not sell, rent or exchange your personal information with any third party for any commercial reasons whatsoever.

5/ We follow strict security procedures in the storage and disclosure of any information which you have given us., This is effected to prevent unauthorised access in accordance with the data protection legislation.

6/ We do not collect any sensitive information about you, except when you specifically and knowingly provide it.

If you have any questions about our privacy statement please contact us at; uk (at)






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