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




Before you write to us please note:


We receive many requests from individuals who think we are a free information and reference service.

I am afraid we are not.

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

Our services and expertise are provided on a professional basis only and arev reserved for those who require our expert help and advise of over 45 years in this specialized field. Expertise which we will be happy to provided on that basis.

Thank you




Our Most Frequently Asked Questions Follow:

Forensic handwriting analysts





 The full qualification of the legitimacy and authenticity of a work of art, cannot be absolutely verified from photographs alone.

 We therefore undertake comprehensive wide ranging investigations and international archival research where it is appropriate and responsible to do so fter the preliminary assessment of viability study is completed, into the origins of the work of art in question and its provenance and collect and retrieve relevant information and evidence in support of the clients case.

*This is effected with a view to presenting all the facts to the fully internationally recognized, appropriate and legally accredited administration, expert, panel, body or committee, who exist and are set in place to protect that particular artists rights.

We will ONLY turn to them for a unanimous and internationally accepted final decision and for their full accreditation.


Unlike others, we do not, under any circumstances claim to be able to issue 'Certificates of Authenticity' - COA's.

WHY?  We are not the legal copyright holders of these artists, nor are we the legally recognized official body protecting that artists rights.




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

Answer:  Security and time zone differences.

We prefer to contact you with agreed and convenient times to speak.



Q:How does the authentication process work?

Answer: In considered stages. If a client decides or instructs us to conduct a full investigation into their work or works of art, after the preliminary assessment of viability study is completed, we will enter into our standard contractual agreement with them, specifying all the details, financial obligations, stages and rates that apply.

This contract also has non-disclosure and privacy of information clauses which the client is protected by.  It does not need to be duplicated by a second non-disclosure agreement. 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: As all investigations are entirely different from each other, they will take different amounts of time and effort and be conducted in different locations. This therefore is a question that is impossible to predict or be definitively answered.






The Preliminary Assessment of Viability.


The very first step in the authentication process.


 If you have works of art with a belief or a serious claim they are probably by any Old or Modern master artist, it suggests that if proven and certified as legitimate, the value of the work of art may be significant.

This preliminary study and advisory is a 'safety net' process and therefore a significantly necessary and important first step before you enter into an investigation that has any signs of failing.



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

    It is based upon your images which must be the best quality you can give us, the information you supply and everything you can tell us about its background and how you came by it.
    An impartial study, independently balancing all the positive facts against any negative that are evident and that may influence the possibility of success or contribute to the failure of the issue.

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

  • With pursuing authenticity, 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.

  • We cannot guarantee the final outcome of any investigation we undertake. An investigation evolves and we cannot predict it.

  • By definition, an investigation, is the careful search or examination of something with an intention to discover facts or evidence. This may include questioning of witnesses, collating facts from research, forensic examination and the investigation of records in many different places.  It is totally impossible to foresee or predetermine if one direction will be successful or not.







 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 what are the possible future proceeds of a sale.

We are NOT in the slightest bit interested in splits or percentages of future profit or partnerships. We regard this as unprofessional and an unethical conflict of interests.




A/ Logic prevailing, 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 even if it was legitimate.



If you are considering having a Pre-Authentication Assessment conducted, please be prepared to:


For your own sake, send us the very best images you can. Front and the back (which is important,) and detail such as signature, and any stamps, inscriptions, dates or labels. If possible take the pictures 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 us blurred photos. You are doing yourself no favours if you do.


  • Also send the work of art's full history and provenance as you know it, along with copies of any supporting research, evidence or documentation that you may have relating to it.

  • NOTE: The Preliminary assessment of viability is a prepaid study.

  • This review and advisory is currently set at our standard rate fee of $150.00 USD. or its equivalent in your local currency.

  • The fee is for each work of art, irrespective of how long we have to spend on the review.

  • This fee can be met by MoneyGram or other agreed format with us such as Paypal. We do no accept Western Union..

  • 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.

  • 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.


 Photos: There is no function to send them from the CONTACT page. You may attach them in the normal manner to an email when we have responded to you.



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

Answer: None at all.

 No one can guarantee the result of any type of investigation criminal, civil or legal and before they know what those results are.

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

Answer: This is an unknown period.

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

Physical inspection of the work of art also has to be undertaken at some point and that varies in geographical location.


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 be in a far better position to decide if they wish to proceed and balance the proposed financial outlay required to progress the next stage.




 We must regrettably reserve the absolute right to refuse to proceed with, or undertake any project, if there are any factors of illegality, deception or collusion that emerge. Including deliberate misinformation or malfeasance. We retain the absolute right to quit in those circumstances.



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

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

 You must firstly decide if this is necessary as different insurance companies have different thresholds, (values below which they do not require an insurance document to be issued.) 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 live 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 and check your Spam folder if you do not hear from us quickly.






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 proportional part of an estimated value, this can have the effect of making 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 that 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 'online', with seller platforms such as Ebay or Invaluable, or a local in-house auctioneer and it is an 'opinion' only.

It does not approve nor support the legitimacy or authenticity of any such item, nor is it an Insurance Valuation, or any sort of guaranteed value for future family distribution or sale purposes.

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

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

  • Prepare and send us good quality digital images of a work you intend to sell online. 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 us 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 accurately. Both in inches (Imperial) and in millimetres, (Metric.)

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


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





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