Tips for buying high quality antiques and art by Curtis Dowling

Everyone's main worry when buying art and high quality antique is the big question, is it real?... And what have you missed in the past year that could be worth a fortune? Many of our clients have including the biggest and most prestigious private buyers in the world, we have found all our customers a pleasure to work with but it brings me onto the person who calls themselves an expert. The art market is full of hard working, honest people around the world but it also attracts pomposity like no other business.

I have been authenticating art for over twenty five years for private clients and felt I would speak with some of the major auction houses to offer our services, what would major auction houses say about our granular processes?

Your Paintings: Alfred Wallis, BBC News.

Lets be honest, It's so costly and time consuming to have full time authenticators on the books and also it is a specific and massively time consuming type of art detective job, as our show, THE TREASURE DETECTIVES, shows. Our offering for those companies? To have a virtual authentication and investigations department within their business, an art appraiser looks at works of art to determine their value. This is not an authentication to determine if the artwork is original; it may be necessary to work with both an authenticator and an appraiser, that's where we come in!

With the cost of art investigation and authentication so very expensive it makes sense as you cannot have experts on everything, or the time to make sure everything being sold is right. Well it's been a very interesting exercise and the replies and conversations have fallen into three very distinct categories which I wanted to share with you, making the art market a minefield.

Firstly there has been the companies who have welcomed the opportunity to offer all their prospective clients the guarantee that every high value item has been thoroughly checked. Lets be honest if you are spending £10,000 plus in any other world you would have more guarantees than you can shake a stick at, in the art world not always so.

The second group just do not have enough high value items coming through to justify the expense but the third group is very interesting.

Their comment? We don't bother with authenticating and don't need too, it's buyer beware and not our business if its real or fake and the fabulous comment from many, our experts are never wrong. That's not the experience of many, you only have to read the papers regularly where major auction houses are having to apologies to buyers for selling fakes and giving the customers money back, or worse going to court to row about it.

So I think the moral of this is read the description carefully when buying, get a full receipt for everything and do your own homework as much as possible before parting with your money.

If you are interested in finding out more contact Curtis Dowling via his website.  

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