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

 

THE FREEMANART  CONSULTANCY

Our  Most   Frequently  Asked  Questions

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 The Freemanart Consultancy are professional international fine art consultants and independent art experts whoprimarily direct and conduct investigative procedures that are necessary in the pursuit of   international acceptance of the authenticity and attribution of fine art.

International archival research, full provenance scrutiny and confirmation, all due diligence and duty of care assignments and related academic and forensic analysis.

  We conduct and pursue the authenticity of fine art by all artists, time periods, genres and geographical origins for our clients throughout the world. Those from the corporate sector, law firms, auctioneers, principal and municipal art galleries, art collections, insurers and investment companies, as well as private individuals from around the world. Working from bases in Europe, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain & North America, multilingually.

 We specialise in authentication investigations and its respective investigative procedures, conduct Art Fraud Investigations, assist with the identification of Fakes and Fraud and wrongly attributed works of art.

 

 

 

Before you write to us please note:


We receive a large number of requests every week, from those who think we are a free information service.


We are not.

We are neither sponsored, nor accept any paid advertising on this site.

Please understand that we are an independent professional agency, providing a professional range of investigative authentication and research services.

Be advised and not offended. But, *We WILL NOT and CANNOT be expected respond to requests for free valuations, gratis advise or free research and information.

 As can be reasonably expected, our services are reserved entirely for those serious minded individuals who require our expert help, Help which will be happily provided on a professional basis.

 For those issues which you wish to address with us, or for requests of the provision of advisory, information, research, investigations, or other assistance, please note that our professional services are fee payable and that in this manner, we will be only too happy to assist and advise you.

 

CONTACT

 

 

 


Our Most Frequently Asked Questions Follow:

 

 

Forensic handwriting analysts

 

 

*Appraisals are 'Valuations' as opposed to 'Art Authentication' are entirely different matters altogether.

Please be aware of the differences and do not confuse the two:

 

 

 

Q: Why do Freemanart not publish their address or telephone numbers of their offices and facilities ?

 

The answer to this question should be fairly obvious to those who ask.

Answer:   In order to protect, conserve and uphold the security of our client's property.

 We often hold clients works of art on their behalf, for both forensic and academic study.
It would be ridiculous, improper and foolhardy to put those items at any risk at all by telling the world 'where' exactly they are held. But the client will always know.

 It must be recognised that we also share huge time zone differences between us and our clients around the world and our various bases internationally. We therefore prefer to contact you, following your email correspondences.

This also allows us to filter out the spam, bogus, or illicit scam attempts from the serious minded and genuine ones and to stop the phones from ringing at three thirty in the morning.......

 

 

Q: Who are our clients?

 Relating to the investigation and authentication of fine art, including drawings, paintings, prints and sculptures, we have served thousands of corporate and private individual clients around the world in our 44 years as a consultancy. Advising them on the subject of there own fine art objects, their corporate holdings, their investments or potential investments. Investigating authenticity and conducting the various processes required in confirming the legitimacy or otherwise, of art works.

We serve clients from all aspects of society and from all walks of life, from all over the world.

 Proudly, this includes four Royal Households, an incumbent President and many, many dignitaries, industrialists and celebrities from the entertainment, film, sports and music industry.

Our regular professional clients include: Barristers and Law firms, Principal Museums and Art Galleries. Auctioneers, Fine Art Dealers,  Insurance Companies, TV and Film companies, Publishers and Private Collectors. And those individuals who are just ordinary people who truly believe that they have something special they need our help with.

 

 

 

AUTHENTICATION ISSUES

 Art Authentication services that lead to any secure qualification of legitimacy, cannot be absolutely verified from photographs alone. 'Authentication Procedures', are covered under the separate heading below.

 

 

 We must stress: Freemanart cannot, do not and will not entertain to process full, ongoing international investigations towards authenticating' works of art, from just digital or photographic images alone. 

Our purpose is to independently undertake a full investigation, collate, collect and retrieve information and evidence in support of the clients case. Be that positive or negative.

 In that role, we direct and undertake many different forensic applications, including pigment, paper and canvas analysis and process all of the academic, historical researchand any other work that may be required.

This is directed with a view to presenting that case to the fully recognised, appropriate and accredited expert, panel, body or committee, for their internationally accepted judgement in the longer term.

 

 We do not under any circumstances personally issue 'Certificates of Authenticity' and naturally cannot guarantee the outcome of any investigation.

 

 

 

Q: I have an old painting signed by artist  'X'  and  I need it  AUTHENTICATING . How much will it cost?

 

Answer: All cases are absolutely and entirely different, will take different amounts of time and effort, will have to be conducted in different locations and is therefore a question you just cannot answer.

 

The Preliminary Assessment, or what we call a PRE - AUTHENTICATION ASSESSMENT is the very first step to take.

 

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

  • It will be one that measures and balances the possibility and the likelihood of success.
    It aims to give a measure of the rationality or need for a client to proceed, with what can be a long, difficult and time consuming investigation.

    Investigations are based on rates per hour, plus all necessary disbursements and expenses. Exactly the same as a law firm operates.

  • If we feel that it would be likely an impossible task to undertake, or identify issues which we would not be able to overcome, or if we we feel the project is just not viable in any other way, we will inform you of that fact and you can make a logical decision..

  • It will be a study based upon the information you supply us with and your images, balanced by our long term subjective experience of over 44 years in the industry.

  • Art Authentication is extremely difficult, tedious and time consuming work and is based on a detailed academic investigation, scrutiny and research. Put alongside further direct, physical comparative study and the gathering of alternate expert opinion and you will understand the complexities and the scale of such a task.

  • Specific forensic analysis, alongside provenance and history research, requires requisite funding per hour, plus any expenses incurred in the procurement of such information relating to a case.

  • If you have works of art claiming to be by any old or modern masters, it generates the obvious notion, that 'if  proven legitimate,' the value of the work of art may be financially significant.

    With Art Authentication, it is demanded that investigations have to be rigorous and thorough in both quality and breadth of research and as such, you must be in a position to finance an investigation fully.

 

 

 

*PLEASE NOTE:

 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 or remunerated for our efforts from future possible proceeds of a sale.

 

Why?

A/ The work of art may not turn out to be authentic in the final analysis and you are asking us to take that risk and pay for it ourselves for you.

B/ You may change your mind and not want to sell the work of art, even if it was proven legitimate.

C/ And it is always a possibility that it may not actually sell, even if you did try to sell it.

 

 

 

 

If you decide on a Pre - Authentication assessment, please be prepared to:

 

 Send us the very best images you can obtain.
Along with the work of art's full history and provenance as you know it, with any supporting evidence or documentation that you may have.

We will then make the evaluation and give you our opinion, suggesting if it's actually worth progressing, as frankly, it may or may not be

  • Remember that this opinion is based on the facts as presented to us by you and from the images that you supply.

  • The Preliminary assessment of viability is a prepaid study.

  • A determination of this kind is currently set at a standard fee of $175.00 USD. per work of art irrespective.
    .
  • This fee may be met by Paypal or other agreed format with us and will be paid in the equivalent amount of US dollars.

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

 

 

* Pre authentication assessments and studies of viability, are not fully accomplished investigations.

They are considered and well balanced observations and assessments of the for's and against's, offered to you in our own opinion.

They do not result in a full report being sent to clients.

 

 

 

 

Q: How can I pay you for your services?


Answer:  We accept secure Paypal payments & MoneyGram for remittances.

 Alternatively if you wish, by direct transfer of funds inter bank. However, such transactions will incur a surcharge and international bank transfers carry a fee in USD $ for processing, equal to the Banks charges at that time. This is a more expensive option.

Under certain circumstances, we also accept Personal cheques, money orders and other financial instruments by post.

Personal cheques take time to clear and no research or work can be scheduled or undertaken until funds are cleared.


All fees and retainers in lieu of investigations and research are payable in advance of that undertaking.

We do not accept unsolicited images attached to email enquiries and there is no function to send them from the CONTACT page.

 

 

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 what so ever.

 

 No one in the world can guarantee the result, before they know what the results of what an investigation may be. Certainly not, before they have fully proven that the work of art either is, or is not legitimate.


In the final analysis, as with a court of law, the final determination of the case is not down to us.

 

 

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

Answer: The simple answer. How long is a piece of string? It takes just as long as it takes.

 

 Every project and investigation is entirely different from the last and the next and presents us with completely different sets of challenges, factors and indeed, problems. Each one needs to be addressed separately and eventually unravelled, understood and overcome.

 In some cases, a project can be effected swiftly, saving on time and therefore money. It depends entirely upon how quickly the jigsaw puzzle comes together and what actually is uncovered or discovered during the investigation procedure.

Other cases can take a great deal more time, particularly when you have no reliable provenance or accurate and traceable family history to attach to the piece to back up its legitimacy claim. And do be aware that archives that exist for foreign historical artists, are not only in their own country of origin or domicile in the main, but that those documents and information are in the language of that country. So we have to work multilingually.

 Research in many cases therefore, has to be physically conducted abroad, particularly with major works purportedly by Old and Modern masters. But that is no problem when we have bases in the UK and Europe.

 

 

Q: What then is the process of authentication?

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

 

 First we will undertake a basic professional assessment of the work of art to judge its viability and measure the chances of success if we continue and progress with it as a project or not.

After the initial pre authentication assessment, the client should then know what the realities are and balance and reason the financial outlay required to get to the next stage. The client can make a personal and rational judgment based on all the facts put before them.

So the preliminary assessment can save you a great deal of money and heartache, rather that heading into the authentication processes full tilt and without any reasonable notion of its success possibilities.

 

 

RIGHT TO QUIT.

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

 

 

Q: Why are you not a free service?

Answer:  I return the question. Would you work for nothing, seven days a week, eight hours a day?

 

 Unlike many web sites, Freemanart have no sponsors cluttering things up.  There are no pop ups, no banners and certainly no advertisers allowed on it.     

We therefore make nothing from maintaining it for those interested in the web site, unlike many other sites.

question goes straight back to those of you who expect something for nothing.

 

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

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

You must firstly decide if this is necessary. Different insurance companies have different thresholds of values below which they do not require an insurance document. Speak to your insurer first and find out what that lower financial level is.

We can also attempt to make retrospective assessments of value, as in the instance of theft, loss or 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 and it depends entirely where you are of course 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.

If you wish to send a more detailed private letter you may do so to;      

Space this address normally

 

When sending images, please try to restrict the size of the files to under 500kbs unless larger files are requested by us and zipped.

 

 

 

VALUATIONS

 

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

 

NO Absolutely Not !

 

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

By charging a percentage of assessed worth or estimated value, this has the habit of making absolutely everything 'valuable' in the eyes of some unscrupulous appraisers and is in our view, both unprofessional and unethical.

Sadly, there are many art appraisers who do this.

 We are ashamed that this practise is conducted by those within our professional ranks. We are truly disappointed in any of our industry colleagues who pursue this methodology.

It is a shameful procedure and one which in our view is underhand, unnecessary and an absolutely unprofessional form of conduct.

 

 

Q:  How much does an 'Online Appraisal' (Evaluation) cost and can it be done from  photos or digital images I send to you?

 

Note: An appraisal of this kind is an ESTIMATION of value only. It is intended to support and inform those 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 is not intended to approve the legitimacy of such items, nor is it an Insurance Valuation or Valuation for future family distribution or negotiated sale. That is a different issue altogether and will only be conducted by us, if agreed to and effected in person.

 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.

 

 

Answer: So yes in general, such an 'on-line valuation' can usually be effected from images or photos.

* But this process has nothing to do with the full investigation process and research when considering a work of art's authenticity. WE do not provide any subsequent paperwork or report relating to it.

  Valuations for Insurance purposes or Private Sale or Purchase Tenders, are also undertaken, but also consider condition, history, provenance, supportive documentation and incurs considerable additional study. There would follow serious research in its undertaking and fees would appropriately reflect the work involved. We would quote accordingly.

 With any such valuation that we agree to conduct for you, the work of art must carry the underwritten guarantee of its reliability of authorship, warrant full legitimacy and have proven provenance. This would be very well documented and given in writing by the recognised adjudicating authority, body, expert or committee responsible and accepted internationally. Those who are appropriately sanctioned and internationally accepted to do so. 

A COA issued by a none approved source is not acceptable.

 We retain the right not to undertake any evaluation in those circumstances, but would offer our professional services in pursuing and undertaking the requisite investigative studies in pursuit of same.    

 

 

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

  • Prepare & 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. It may be very helpful to us and you too.

 

 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.

 

 

 

Freemanarts: 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 email contact form, we 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 between us.
 
4 We do not sell, rent or exchange your personal information with any third party for any commercial reasons what so ever.

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.


7 We use a technology called "cookies" as part of a normal business procedure to track patterns of behaviour of visitors to our site through our sites statistics. It simply tells us where the enquiry originated from geographically: Australia, Canada, Maldives, Croatia etc, the source of the enquiry, ie. Google, Yahoo, MSN, and the wording you may have used to find us: ie.  "Picasso  - authentication, - Florida" or "Fakes", signatures and so on .

This assists us with the ongoing development of the web site.

  

A cookie is an element of data that our Web site sends to your browser which is then stored on your system.

You can set your browser to prevent this happening.
Any information collected in this way can indeed be used to identify your computer IP address unless you change your browser settings.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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