Tips For Fine Art Collectors

Fakes, Mistakes and Discoveries: National Gallery’s Close Examination


Does this woman have dark secret

A Blond with a Dark Secret

Here are questions that rattle every collector’s cage, are the plots for suspenseful movies and books and the subject of great stories: authentication, fake art, misattributions. We deal with these issues, if not daily, then weekly for sure and have tools, technology and connoisseurship to do the examinations in our FACL lab: UV, IR. X-ray, microscopes etc. We also make house calls.

Here’s the article: http://nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/research/close-examination/

Conservation/authentication questions? Call us at 805 564 3438

Appraisal and research questions? Call Richard Holgate at 805 895 5121

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Comments (5)

Kathleen PapaliniOctober 9th, 2014 at 3:12 pm

What would you charge to use your uv blacklight process to help authenticate two paintings, one
presumed to be a Theodore Rousseau?

Scott HaskinsNovember 18th, 2014 at 7:52 pm

Kathleen, a UV blacklight won’t authenticate a painting for you. The process is more involved than that. At most, a UV light will help you distinguish more recent restorations.

Michael FickenFebruary 27th, 2015 at 9:17 pm

I deal in Fine Art, but feel out of my league on this piece. I recently purchased a Watercolor for my own collection while picking, but while purchasing it I found an even better/older oil painting hanging on a wall. At first I thought it was canvas board as it didn’t have a wooden stretcher and was in a tacky light weight frame. I purchased it anyways. I took the frame apart and found it was linen canvas that someone tied to an old Armstrong’s Tile cardboard using the existing fastener holes in the canvas. Then I noticed the signature was an early Picasso. I compared it to some authentic paintings from late 19th to early 20th and UV tested it, used my 23.4 MP SLT to get a closer look and the signature is blended into the paint not a floating surface signature. The Armstrong’s advertising is from 1930′s and the name on the cardboard of a lady 1918-2002. The painting to me compares to his youthful works and found 7 examples of this signature. I only contact you now since I am convinced that it is worth getting authenticated as I don’t like to waste people’s time on reproductions. I research Fine Art and Photography, but nothing like this. I have fully documented the piece in high resolution images. Would you be interested in seeing them? I also took macro photos of the canvas, signature, each area of painting transition. It is currently under glass with an acid-free board supporting the stretcher-less canvas. Thank you for your time. I would like to start the process soon. Feel free to email me.

Scott HaskinsMay 3rd, 2015 at 9:18 am

Michael, feel free to call me at 805 564 3438. TTYS, Scott

Jim HellorMay 8th, 2016 at 7:41 am

To this day, I cannot believe that someone can see a mistake or a fake in the art world. It must take a VERY trained eye.

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