FREQUENTLY  ASKED  QUESTIONS Art Authentication Experts - Art Appraisers - art valuers. Art Experts serving Florida - California - USA - Canada - New England - Washington - Toronto & British Columbia

THE FREEMANART  CONSULTANCY

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 The Freemanart Consultancy are professional international fine art consultants and leading independent experts conducting a variety of procedures that are necessary in the pursuit of underpinning authentication and the attribution of art, including; in depth archival research and all investigative processes.

 One of the worlds top internationally based fine art consultancies, we are unique in that we specialize purely in forensic and academic investigations leading towards the expert authentication identification and attribution of fine art.

As such, Freemanart conduct and pursue, detailed, on the ground and in depth investigations into the legitimacy and authenticity of all fine art and antiquities and from all time periods and geographical origins for our clients throughout the world.

 We serve both corporate clients, such as law firms, auctioneers, municipal galleries, art collections, insurers and investment companies, alongside private individuals from around the world.

 From the Old Masters right through to the Impressionists, including artists as notable as Picasso and Renoir to Titian, Turner, Rembrandt to Rubens,  Freemanart specialize in investigating the credibility and authenticity of works of art of all kinds, working from our international bases in North America and Europe including the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain.

 We specialise soleley in authentication investigations and procedures, Art Fraud Investigations, the identification of Fakes and wrongly attributed works of art and conduct confidential investigative research towards the prosecution of attempted criminal activity in this field.

 

 

 

Before you write to us please note:


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

Please understand that this is not so. We are a professional agency providing a professional range of investigative services.

Therefore be advised and not offended by the fact that: *We WILL NOT and clearly CANNOT be expected respond to requests for free valuations, advise or free research & information.

As you would reasonably expect, our services are reserved entirely for those serious minded individuals who require our expert help, which will be provided on a professional basis only.

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

 

 

 

 


FREEMANART'S Most Frequently Asked Questions:

 

 

Forensic handwriting analysts

 

 

*Appraisals are 'Valuations' and the subject of '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 may ask it.

Answer: Conserving and upholding the security of our client's property.

 We often hold clients property for forensic and academic study and evaluation. It would be ridiculous, improper and foolhardy to put those items at risk by informing the world 'where' exactly they are held. But the client will always know.

 We also share huge time differentials between our clients around the world and our various offices internationally. We therefore prefer to contact you - following your email correspondences. This allows us to filter out the spam, bogus or scam attempts from the serious minded and genuine.

 

 

Q: Who are Freemanart's clients?

 In matters relating to the authentication of fine art, including drawings, paintings, prints and sculptures, we serve thousands of corporate and private individual clients around the world. Advising them on the subject of art authentication and the various processes required in authenticating their art works.

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

Including three Royal Households, an incumbent President and many, many dignitaries, industrialists and celebrities from the entertainment sports and music industry.

Our regular professional clients are: Barristers and Law firms, Principal Museums and Art Galleries. Auctioneers, Fine Art Dealers,  Insurance Companies, TV and Film companies, Publishers and simply, those Private Collectors who are just ordinary people who need our help.

 

 

 

 

AUTHENTICATION ISSUES

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

 We must stress: Freemanart cannot, do not and will not entertain to process full, ongoing investigations towards authenticating' works of art from just digital or photographic images.  Our purpose is to independently fully investigate, collate, collect and retrieve information in support of the clients case. Be that positive or negative.

We direct and undertake forensic applications, arranging and take samples, conduct analysis and testing, along with processing all the academic, historic or other work required. Always with a view to presenting that case to the recognised, accredited expert, panel, body or committee for their 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  '?'  and  I need it  AUTHENTICATING . How much will it cost?

 

Answer: All cases are entirely different and it is a question you just can't answer.

The Preliminary Assessment or what we call a PRE - AUTHENTICATION ASSESSMENT is the first thing you require.

 

  • A 'pre authentication assessment' is a professional assessment of the viability & credibility of the case. One measuring the possibility and or the likelyhood of success. It gives a measure of the necessity for a client to proceed with what can be a long, difficult and time consuming investigation.
    Investigations based on rates per hour plus all necessary expenses. Exactly like a law firm operates.

  • If we feel that it would be either an impossible task to undertake, or that we will have too many obstacles to overcome, or if we feel the project is not viable in any other way, we will inform you of that opinion. One based upon our long term subjective experience of over 40 years.

  • Art Authentication is extremely difficult, tedious and time consuming work and is based on a detailed academic investigation. One which is itself based on in depth archival study, research and analysis. Put that alongside further direct, hands on physical comparative study and the gathering of alternate expert opinion and you will understand the intricacies and scale.

  • There is likely the need for specific forensic analysis too at some point in time. Testing and forensic investigations, go alongside provenance and history research. This also requires specific 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 old or modern masters, it generates the obvious notion, that 'if  proven legitimate,' the value of the work of art may be significant. Art Authentication therefore has to be rigorous in its 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 and at any level on the basis that we will be recompensed from the proceeds of a future sale.

Why?

1/ The work of art may not turn out to be authentic in the final analysis.

2/ You may not want to sell the work of art even if it were. And;

3/ It may not actually sell, even if you did try to sell it.

 

 

 

 

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

  • Send us the best images you can obtain and the work of art's full history as you know it, along with any supporting evidence.

  • We will make the evaluation and give you our opinion, suggesting if it's actually worth progressing. 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 PRE PAID study.

  • A determination of this kind is currently set at a standard fee of $185.00 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 in 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 of viability are not fully fledged investigations.

They are considered assessments of the for's and against's, offered in our opinion.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Q: How can I pay you?


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

Alternately, if you wish, the direct transfer of funds inter bank. But such transactions will carry a surcharge and international bank transfers carry a fee in USD $ for processing, equal to the Banks pre determined charge at that time. This is an expensive option.

 Under certain circumstances, we also accept Western Union. Personal cheques, money orders and other financial instruments by post. But personal cheques take time to clear and no 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 you cannot 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' what the results of what any investigation may be. Certainly not, before they find out and have fully underpinned if an item 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: I'm afraid that the simple answer is the same as an unknown length of a piece of string.

It takes as long as it takes!

 Every project and investigation is entirely different from the next and presents us with completely different sets factors and indeed, problems. Each needs to be addressed and eventually understood or 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 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 attached to the piece to back up its legitimacy.

Research in some cases, may have 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 work together in logical and progressive stages.

 First we will make that basic professional assessment of the work judging its viability to continue and progress with it as a project.

.

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

The preliminary assessment can save a great deal of money, rather that heading into the authentication processes full tilt and without hope.

 We retain the absolute right to refuse to proceed with any project and the absolute right to quit a project if there are factors of illegality that emerge. 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.     

We make nothing from maintaining this web site, unlike most.

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 decide if this is necessary, as different insurance companies have different thresholds of values below which they do not require an insurance document. Speak toyour insurer first and find out what that 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 payable by the hour or part thereof and it depends entirely where you are of course. 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 how we may assist you.

If you wish to send a more detailed letter you may do so to;       investigations (at) freemanart (dot) ca

When sending images, try to restrict the size of the files to under 500kbs unless larger files are requested.

 

 

 

VALUATIONS

 

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

NO!

 

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

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

Sadly though, hundreds of art appraisers do this.

 We are ashamed of that practise conducted by the unscrupulous ones within our professional ranks & disappointed in our colleagues who pursue this methodology. It is a shameful procedure 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. 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 and in person.

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

 

Answer: 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 investigation process and reseacrh undertaking considering a work of art's authenticity, nor do we provide any subsequent paperwork relating to it.

I repeat: This issue is covered in the previous section under Authentication Issues.

  Valuations for Insurance purposes or Private Sale or Purchase Tenders, can be 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, the work of art must carry the underwritten guarantee of its reliability of authorship, warrant full legitimacy and have proven provenance. This would be documented and given in writing by the recognosed adjudicating authority, body, expert or committee. Those appropriately sactioned and internationally accepted to do so. 

A COA issued by a non approved source, is just 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Freemanart: 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 Europe.

2 When you use our e mail 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 unauthorized 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 behavior 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: i.e.  "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

 

 

Last updated April 2017

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