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 professional international fine art consultants and leading independent art experts conducting and directing the multiple procedures which are necessary in the pursuit of underpinning international acceptance of authenticity and in the attribution of authorship of fine art. Including all the in depth international investigations, archival research, full provenance investigation and scrutiny, due diligence and duty of care assignments and all related academic investigative processes required, including forensic analysis.
As such, Freemanart conduct and pursue, detailed, on the ground investigations into the legitimacy and authenticity of all fine art from all artists, time periods, genres and geographical origins for our clients throughout the world.
We serve both corporate sector clients, including law firms, auctioneers, principal and municipal art 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 Europe including the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain & North America.
We specialise solely in authentication investigations and their respective investigative procedures. Conduct Art Fraud Investigations, assist with 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, art fraud, forgery and deception.
Before you write to us please note:
Please do understand that this is not so. We are an independent professional agency providing a professional range of investigative authentication and research services.
Therefore do please be advised and not offended by the fact that: *We WILL NOT and 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 assistance, please note that our professional services are fee payable and we will be only too happy to assist and advise you.
FREEMANART'S Most Frequently Asked Questions Follow:
*Appraisals are 'Valuations' and the subject of 'Art Authentication' is an 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 it.
Answer: In order to conserve and uphold the security of our client's property.
We often hold clients works of art for both forensic and academic study. It would be ridiculous, improper and foolhardy to put those items at risk, 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 differentials between us and our clients around the world and our various bases internationally. We therefore prefer to contact you. That will be following your email correspondences.
This also allows us to filter out the spam, bogus or illegal scam attempts, (of which, sadly today there are many,) from the serious minded and truly genuine ones and of course, stop the phones from ringing a three thirty in the morning.......
Q: Who are Freemanart's clients?
In matters relating to investigating the authentication of fine art, including drawings, paintings, prints and sculptures, we have served thousands of corporate and private individual clients around the world. Advising them on the subject of there own fine art objects, investigating authenticity and in conducting the various processes required in confirming the legitimacy of their art works.
Frankly, we serve clients from all aspects of society and from all walks of life and from all over the world.
Proudly, this includes three Royal Households, an incumbent President and many, many dignitaries, industrialists and celebrities from the entertainment, 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. Simply put, also those individuals who are just ordinary people who truly believe that they have something special and need our help.
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 fully investigate, 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, arranging pigment, paper and canvas samples, and conducting the appropriate analysis and testing required, along with processing all of the academic, historic or other work required. This is always directed with a view to presenting that case to the recognised, accredited expert, panel, body or committee for their internationaslly 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 entirely different and is a question you just can't answer.
The Preliminary Assessment or what we call a PRE - AUTHENTICATION ASSESSMENT is the very firststep to take.
We do not as a matter of firm company policy, undertake any work for clients, at any levell on the basis that we will be recompensed or remunerated for our efforts from the proceeds of a future sale.
A/ The work of art may not turn out to be authentic in the final analysis and you are asking us to take that chance for you.
B/ You may not even want to sell the work of art and change your mind, even if it were proven legitimate.
C/ And it is apossibility that 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:
* Pre authentication assessments of viability are not fully accomplished investigations.
They are considered and balanced 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?
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 predetermined charge at that time. This is a more expensive option.
Under certain circumstances, we also accept Western Union. 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' anything, before they know what the results of what any investigation may be. Certainly not, before they find out as much as they can about it and have fully proven and underpinned 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: I'm afraid that the simple answer is the same as knowing the unknown length of a piece of string and it just takes as long as it takes.
Every project and investigation is entirely different from the next one and presents us with completely different sets of challenges, factors and indeed, problems. 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 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 attached to the piece to back up its legitimacy claim. And be aware that archives that exist for foreign historical artists, are not only in their own country of origin, in the main, but that the 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 make that basic professional assessment of the workof art to judge its viability and balance either to 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 can get a measure of the financial outlay required to get to the next stage. Then they 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 resonable notion of its success possibilities.
RIGHT TO QUIT.
Freemanart reserve the absolute right to refuse to proceed with any project and the absolute right to quit a project, if there are factors of illegality, deception or collusion 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? I think not.
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 most others.
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 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.
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 likely worth.
By charging a percentage of possible worth, or estimated value, this has the strange habit of making absolutely everything 'valuable' in the eyes of some unscrupulous appraisers and is in our view, both unprofessional and unethical.
Sadly though, hundreds of art appraisers do this.
We are ashamed that this practise is conducted by the ones within our professional ranks with no scruples and only concern for themselves and truly disappointed in 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 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: 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 research undertaking when considering a work of art's authenticity. Nor do we provide any subsequent paperwork or report relating to it.
This issue is covered in the previous section under Authentication Issues.
Valuations for Insurance purposes or Private Sale or Purchase Tenders, are 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 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 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:
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.
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Last updated April 2017
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