Tag Archives: provenance

Authenticating a Picasso Drawing

Provenance research can be like looking for a needle in a haystack, where sometimes what you find is a strong thread. Such was the case with a Picasso drawing that will be sold on May 16, 2014 in the American & European Works of Art auction at Skinner in Boston.

George Leslie Stout, the Fogg Art Museum’s first conservation department head, articulated the best practices for art authentication as a “three-legged stool,” and his model is still generally accepted today.… Read More

Prove It: Why Provenance Matters for Antique Judaica

The vast majority of items that cross the auction block don’t have storied pasts. They were not owned by world-famous personalities; they belonged to individuals just like me and you.

In the antiques world, provenance indicates an attachment to a famous person or to a famous collection.  Almost without exception, auction buyers will pay more for something with good provenance if there is documentation to prove it.

Documentation is not just family lore: a fragment of paper in great aunt Mildred’s hand noting the story she heard when she received the item as a gift doesn’t count.… Read More