What is provenance and who needs it?

What is provenance and who needs it?
In the case of art, ignorance is not bliss. For those who have recently joined us, we have clarified some general rules of thumb.

Provenance is the history of a work of art, its origin. Provenance often serves as proof of authenticity and can significantly increase the cost of an object on the market. Therefore, it is very important to check the provenance of an item before its purchase (to reduce risk) or, inversely, restore it (to sell).

To verify an object’s provenance, you need the following types of evidence:

  • A certificate or a statement affirming the authenticity of a work of art. This document must be signed by an authoritative source such as a government agency or a specialist engaged in the valuation of antiques.

  • Labels confirming that this object was exhibited in a museum or gallery.

  • Receipt of sale.

  • Video or audio file containing the artist’s story about its creation.

  • The results of an examination carried out by the relevant state institution or by an expert in the evaluation of antiques.

  • Officially certified names of former owners.

  • A description or report from a relevant government agency.

  • A description or image of it placed in the press, books or catalogs.

  • Verbal confirmation from a person who is personally familiar with the work of art or its creator.

11 April 2017
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