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
The Freemanart Consultancy are international fine art consultants, directing and overseeing investigations into the legitimacy of art. Authenticity investigations that can lead to a full international acceptance of legitimacy or a well established, fully accepted attribution.
We conduct multilingual international archival research, administer full provenance scrutiny and confirmation, all due diligence and duty of care assignments and both academic and forensic art analysis.
Working from bases in Europe, the UK and North America multilingually, we pursue the authenticity of fine art created by all artists, from all time frames, all genres and geographical origins for clients throughout the world. Including individuals from the corporate sector such as, law firms, auctioneers, principal and municipal art galleries, curators of collections, insurers and investment companies, as well as private individuals.
Before you write to us please note:
As can be reasonably expected, our services are professional and reserved for those individuals who require our expert help and advise. Help and expertise which will be happily provided on a professional basis.
Our Most Frequently Asked Questions Follow:
*Appraisals are 'Valuations'. 'Authentication' which is verifying the legitimacy of a work of art is quite different and the two are entirely separate issues.
Q: Why do we not publish our addresses or telephone numbers ?
Answer: In order to protect and uphold the security of client's property.
It also must be recognised that we share huge time zone differences with clients around the world. We therefore prefer to contact you following your email enquiry with agreed and acceptable times to speak.
It also allows us to filter out the deliberate spam, bogus, or illicit scam attempts from the serious minded, genuine enquiries.
Q: Who are our clients?
With 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 in existence as an art consultancy. Advising on there own fine art, their corporate holdings, art investments or potential investments. Investigating authenticity and conducting the various processes required in confirming the legitimacy, or otherwise, of works of art.
We serve clients from all sides of society and from all walks of life and from all over the world.
Our regular professional clients include: Law firms, Principal Museums and Art Galleries. Auctioneers, Fine Art Dealers, Insurance Companies, TV and Film companies, Publishers and Private Collectors. As well as those individuals who truly believe that they have something special they need our help with.
Art Authentication services that lead to any secure and full qualification of legitimacy, in our opinion, cannot be absolutely verified from photographs alone.
Our purpose is to independently undertake full investigations into the work of art, collect and retrieve relevant information and evidence in support of the clients case, be that positive or negative.
We also direct and undertake many different forensic applications, including pigment and paper analysis and process all of the academic, historical research that may be required. 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 issue 'Certificates of Authenticity' and naturally cannot guarantee the outcome of any investigation we undertake.
If a client instructs us to conduct a full investigation into their work/works of art, we will enter into our standard contractual agreement with them specifying the details, financial obligations, stages and rates. This also covers non disclosure and privacy of information which the client is protected by. 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 cases are entirely different, will take different amounts of time and effort to process and will inevitably have to be conducted in different locations. This is therefore a question you just cannot definitively answer.
The Preliminary Assessment is the very first step to take.
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.
This is un sound business practise
A/ The work of art may not turn out to be authentic in the final analysis.
B/ You may 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 find a buyer, even if you did try to sell it.
Pre - Authentication assessment, please be prepared to:
Send us the very best images you can.
Pre-authentication assessments and studies of viability are not full investigations.
They are well balanced observations and a review of the positive and negative element in our 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 for lower amounts.
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.
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: How long is a piece of string?
Every project and investigation is entirely different from the last and presents us with completely different sets of challenges, factors and problems to solve. Each 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 discovered during the investigation procedure.
Other cases can take a great deal more time, particularly when you have no reliable provenance, nor accurate and traceable family history to attach to the piece to back up its legitimacy claim. And do be aware that art archives that do exist for foreign historical artists, are not only in their own country of origin, or artists 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.
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.
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: Do you provide written appraisals for insurance purposes, tax or family distribution?
Answer: Yes, we will upon request and as such, a fee is charged for this process.
You must firstly decide if this is necessary, as different insurance companies have different thresholds, which are 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?
We apologise for the technical issues we have had with the Contact form on the web site recently.
A new form has been added .
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 this addresses but we restrict the size of images;
Q: Do you charge a PERCENTAGE of 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 of 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 conducted by some of those within our professional ranks.
Q: 'Online Appraisals' (Evaluation) 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.
If you plan to have an 'on line' assessment of estimated value of an item for sale made, please try to:
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.
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.
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