There is an important scale of degrees to describe the authenticity of a work of art: authentic works by the master himself, workshop products to which the master added his touch, workshop copies, period copies, later copies, works inspired by…, heavily restored originals, partially restored originals, original works signed at a later date, period works with a fake signature, pastiches, forgeries etc.
Often the provenance of a work of art is incomplete or unknown, documentation is missing, expert opinions disagree and attributions change with time, with sometimes considerable consequences for the valuation of the object in question.
The scientific analyses offered by FAEI provide objective and tangible evidence allowing to define the exact status of an artwork. In addition they serve as a reliable basis for an attribution by other experts, committees or foundations.
- For a sale
When a work of art is being acquired it is imperative to dispose of an exact and independent expertise on its state of conservation. None would in effect consider purchasing a second hand motor car or a property without an expert report. This applies equally to works of art, even more so if their value is important. This expert report should contain an exact description of the current condition of the work, past conservation interventions, and any important facts for its future conservation (specific storage conditions, conservation measures to be undertaken etc.). It is common practice and recommended that a potential buyer appoints an independent expert such as FAEI before proceeding to an acquisition.
- For shipping or an exhibition loan
When one or several works are given on loan by a collector to an exhibition or an art fair, the owner would obviously wish to ensure that the objects are returned in exactly the same condition. Be it to detect any traces of minor travel accidents (scratches, marks etc.) or specific conservation interventions attempting to conceal such damage, it is important to document and to verify systematically through photography and macrophotography in visible and in ultraviolet light the state of conservation of an artwork before and after any logistical operation. With its portable equipment the FAEI team is available anywhere in the world to ensure the monitoring of the state of conservation of your works of art.
Art Due Diligence
When the ownership of a work of art is transferred it is essential to respect strict due diligence procedures (verification of authenticity, provenance, ownership, state of conservation etc.) as a protection against the numerous risks associated with this particular market (forgeries, requests for restitution, concealed restorations etc.).
Based on extensive experience with banks and investment funds, FAEI advises and assists clients with the compilation of a complete sales dossier, or the verification of a work of art before acquisition.
Detection of forgeries
If doubts arise concerning the authenticity of a recently acquired work in his ownership, a collector must act rapidly and present objective evidence in order to cancel the sale. If there is no documentary evidence and in cases where the opinion of an art historian may be considered subjective, scientific analysis may provide tangible evidence against the authenticity of a work of art (anachronisms or incoherencies, incompatibilities with known practices of an artist etc.).
This way, FAEI has been appointed as experts in several high profile judicial cases, and our reports have contributed decisively to the conclusion of several among the most important art forgery cases in recent years.
FAEI regularly carries out occasional specific analyses on behalf of art professionals (conservators, experts etc.) at discounted rates.
Preventive conservation consulting
FAEI specialist staff is available to provide advice on optimum conservation conditions for your collections (storage conditions, security etc.)
Thanks to our comprehensive experience with the documentation and conservation of works of art and with data management, FAEI offers custom-made inventorisation services for all types of art collections (physical documentation, photography, implementation of a bespoke database etc.). In our time a detailed and professional inventory constitutes an indispensable tool for insurance and conservation purposes as well as to enhance the value of an art collection.
Whether it is because of the nature of the artwork to be examined (size, fragility, wall paintings etc.), because of the number of objects to be analysed or for any other reason (confidentiality etc.), with its portable equipment FAEI is available anywhere in the world for the scientific examination of works of art.
Expertise after degradation or an accident
Following a disaster or an accident, FAEI can be appointed as experts to establish the cause and the extent of any damage to an art collection.
Photographies d’objets d’art
FAEI also provides professional photographic services to enhance the value of your works of art, either in our own photographic studio or in situ.