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

Our  Most   Frequently  Asked  Questions

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 The Freemanart Consultancy are professional international fine art consultants, leading independent experts conducting the a variety of procedures, including; in depth archival research and investigative processes governing finite art authentication & artist attributions for our clients.

 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 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 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 that:

*We WILL NOT and clearly CANNOT be expected respond to requests for free valuations, free 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 are

provided on a professional basis only.

For those issues which you wish to address with us and for the provision of advisory, information, research, investigation, or other help you require,

our professional services are fee payable.

We will be only too happy to assist you.

 

 

 

S E E   B E L O W


FREEMANART'S Most Frequently Asked Questions:

 

 

Forensic handwriting analysts

 

 

*Appraisals are 'Valuations' and the subject of 'Art Authentication' is an entirely different matter altogether.

Please note the differences and do not confuse the two:

Click to see our individual pages on AUTHENTICATION and APPRAISALS for details.

 

 

 

Q: Why do Freemanart not publish their address or telephone numbers of their various offices and facilities ?

The answer to this question should be patently obvious to those who ask it.

Answer: The number one reason is conserving and upholding the security of our client's property.

We obviously hold clients property at our bases 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.

 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 e mail correspondences, as much of what we receive as enquiries are either bogus and not serious enquiries at all.

 

 

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 and individual clients around the world. Advising them on the subject of art authentication and the various processes required in authenticating their art works.

 This is as wide ranging geographically as from Miami, to Palm Springs in California, Los Angeles to  Beverley Hills. San Francisco to Washington, DC, Colorado, to Toronto. Ontario to British Columbia in Canada. And from nations as far afield as Brazil to Chile, New Zealand and Australia and Spai and Italy.

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

 

 We have served 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, Lawyers and Law firms, Principal Museums and Art Galleries. Auctioneers, Fine Art Dealers,  Insurance Companies, TV and Film companies, Publishers and simply, Private Collectors who are just ordinary individuals who need some help.

 

 

 

AUTHENTICATION ISSUES

 Art Authentication services leading to any secure qualification of legitimacy, can not and will not be verified from photographs alone.

The subject entitled 'Authentication Procedures', is 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 digital or photographic images. Our purpose is to independently fully investigate, collate, collect and retrieve information in support of the case, be that positive or negative, on behalf of the client. Directing forensic applications, arranging and taking samples, conducting their analysis and testing, along with all the academic, historic or other scientific analysis required, This is always with a view to presenting that case to the recognised, accredited expert, panel, body or committee in the longer term.

 We do not under any circumstances personally issue 'Certificates of Authenticity' and naturally cannot guarantee the outcome of any investigation.

There are also some artists works which we will not conduct investigations for clients for.

We strictly reserve the right to refuse to offer our services in that respect.

 

 

 

Q: I have an old painting signed by artist 'X' and  I need it  AUTHENTICATING . How much will it cost?

 

Answer: Take one step at a time as all cases are utterly different and it is a question you just can't answer at this stage.

It's a Preliminary Assessment or what we call a PRE - AUTHENTICATION ASSESSMENT is what is required first and foremost.

 

  • A 'pre authentication assessment' is a professional and personal assessment of the viability & credibility of a claim of authenticity. One measuring the possibility and the likely hood and therefore the reasonable necessity for a client to proceed, with what can be a long, difficult and time consuming investigation. Investigations which are based on rates per hour plus all necessary expenses.
    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 work is not viable in any way, we will inform you of that opinion based upon our subjective experience.

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

  • There is probably the need for specific forensic analysis too at some point in time.  Testing, materials identification & forensic investigation to go alongside provenance and history research. This 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 of the art world, it generates the obvious indication that 'if  proven correct and legitimate,' the value of the work of art may be financially 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 the investigation fully.

 

*PLEASE NOTE:

 We will  not and 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 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 get 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.

  • Our opinion is based on the facts as presented to us and from the images you supply.

  • The Preliminary assessment of viability is a PRE PAID study.

  • A determination of this kind is 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 dollars.

  • Firm company policy is that prior to embarking on any authenticity investigation, we conduct a pre authentication assessment and there are no exceptions to this rule.

 

* Pre authentication assessments of viability are not fully fledged investigations.

They are simply, considered assessments of the viability issues 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 using all major credit cards for relatively small amounts such as pre authentication assessments or valuations. The payment of fees will be in the equivalent of US Dollars.

Alternately, if you wish, the direct transfer of funds from bank to 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.

We also accept personal cheques, money orders and other financial instruments by post such as Western Union.

However, personal cheques take time to clear and no work can be scheduled or undertaken until funds are cleared and in place.


  All fees and advances in lieu of investigations and research are payable in advance of that undertaking and are made in dollars, unless otherwise agreed with us.

We will provide you with our payment details for Paypal by Paypal invoice. This makes things much simpler for you.

 

Please note, 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 underpinned if an item is or is not legitimate!
That's as silly as asking your doctor to tell you that he's definitely going to find out that you are not ill and why not, when you went to see him in the first place to find out if you were and what it was!

In the final analysis, as with a court of law, the 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 of rules, factors and indeed, problems that need to be addressed and eventually understood or solved.

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 is uncovered during the investigation procedure.

Some cases can take a great deal more time and trouble, 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 conducted abroad, particularly with major works purportedly by major artists. In order to back up the process the piece may require forensic examination as I have explained, requiring further testing, analysis and reports.

It all adds up. So one step at a time is the responsible route.

 

 

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 it as a project.

This is the pre authentication assessment.

A personal study and assessment of the facts as presented to us by you and given to you as a personal opinion. A l judgement which is effected from photographs and the information you send us. It may even allow us to assess the possible market value too, as if it were legitimate.

This in turn helps you to determine if the authenticity investigation route is really necessary, or worthy and for us to get some idea of a plan and direction required to heading towards authentication or adversely, to show that it is 'illegitimate after all. That is, if you are pursuing litigation for fraud.

After it, you will know if we think that we have any possibility of obtaining a full attribution in the long term.

If it is obvious to us based upon or our experience and knowledge of the subject that it is not viable for you to take that risk, then you will be advised so.

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

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

Following this personal assessment, we then inform you of our opinions and you can make a more rational decision to progress or discontinue a full Authenticity Investigation.  We will not provide written reports at this stage..

Like a law firm or solicitors office, we are then retained and financially recompensed if you enter into such an investigation. This is financed by the hour and also for necessary expenses incurred. This in as an advance and we become contracted to the client for each individual case.

 

We retain the absolute right to refuse to take on and or proceed with any project and the absolute right to quit any project if there are factors of illegality emerging, deliberate misinformation or malfeasance which may come to light.

 

 

Q: Why are you not a free service?

Answer:  I return the question. Do you work for nothing, seven days a week, eight hours a day? And would you?

Hardly likely.

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 levied 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 to them first and find out what that level is.

That's good advice.

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 as 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

In sending any images you must restrict the size of the files to under 500kbs as we have a secure system and all files over 500 kbs will be automatically deleted.

 

 

VALUATIONS

 

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 any percentage of an items worth.

By charging a percentage of likely worth, or of its estimated value, this has a very nasty 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 within our professional ranks & disappointed in our colleagues who pursue this practise.

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' (valuation) 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 has nothing to do with investigating authenticity, nor do we provide any subsequent paperwork. This subject is covered later below.


Answer: Yes an 'online appraisal' can usually be effected from images or photos.

However, this type of valuation is only an ' estimation of value' and one which entirely assumes the reliability and legitimacy of the piece as described to us by the client based upon images that they too have supplied to us.

This must be stressed.

We do not guarantee nor give any opinion as to the authenticity the piece, its condition, nor guarantee any comparative value.

 The assessment of an items value can usually be effected with a one off fee, currently set at just $50.00 USD. per item valuation and is obviously delivered irrespective of the items assessed and indicated value turns out to be.

Please note: We have no control over the various fluctuations of market value of any painting, item or antiquity.

It is your choice entirely to seek a valuation.

If you send us images of the Mona Lisa which you've been told is the real McCoy by your librarian, but is really a print on a tea towel which turns out to be worthless, sorry, that is your own judgement. (Yes that actually happened !) We did not appraise it and told the client why we wouldn't.

Remember too; a $50.00 estimation of value, is really designed to assist those people who are considering buying something at auction, be it on line with seller platforms such as Ebay or Invaluable, or in-house with a local auctioneer.

It is an estimation of value and a valuation designed to help those clients who want to know how much something 'may be worth'. In priuncipal so they do not exceed its likely market value in an attempted purchase.

It has nothing to do with authenticity issues, we give no such guarantee and is not an insurance valuation.

 

If you plan to have an 'on line' assessment of value made please try to:

  • Prepare & send us good quality digital images. If possible taken 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.) It matters a great deal!.
  • 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.

 Such an evaluation of value from photographs we repeat obviously assumes that the piece is both authentic and legitimate and that the information you provide us with is absolutely reliable and correct.

We have no control over what you tell us or what you believe, hope or assume are the realities behind the piece/s background and or origins.

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.

If you require a written Insurance valuation, this matter is also addressed later.

 

 

 

 

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 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

 

Updated 2015

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