When it comes to buying fine art pieces such as paintings, ancient coins, or Egyptian artifacts you must be incredibly careful to make sure that what you are buying is the real thing. Unfortunately we have seen a great many cases of people investing large sums of money in fine art only to realize that what they bought was in fact a fake or an imitation. In the UK back in 1999 for example we saw John Myatt, a member of the public, imprisoned for a year for over art forgeries which he had been creating for over a decade and this has happened in a number of countries. We spoke to the chief curator at the Sadigh Gallery here in New York, to find out more.

The Risk

There are risks associated with just about every piece of art that you buy and a  large price tag doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the real thing. Take a look at the recent story of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, the most expensive painting that has ever been sold at a whopping $450 million. Despite this huge price tag and the gallery from which it was sold, many experts believe this to be a fake as the form and the style of the painting is not something that we have ever seen from the artist. Whilst this is an extreme case it just goes to show that no matter what the price of the piece, it isn’t always the real deal.

Avoiding the Mistake

There aren’t always ways in which you can absolutely guarantee the originality of a piece, except perhaps had you watched it be completed and then received it in your hand, but there are steps which you can take to lower your risk. The first step is to gain knowledge, knowledge about the artist or the creator, understanding what nuances they had or small tweaks which they would often include in their work. In terms of coin collecting or ancient sculptures this can be more difficult but once again knowledge can help you to prevent being conned.

Sources

There is a great amount of material which you can find that can act as a database or a reference point for fine art and you must always check your sources before making a purchase. Let’s say that you find an ancient Egyptian coin that you believe to be real, sources may suggest that there was only one ever found and that it sold at auction a decade ago, if this is the case then you are probably looking at a fake.

The number one rule is that once you have checked out the piece, if you are not completely convinced or if you have any doubts at all, it is probably best that you don’t buy it, better to miss out than to invest big money in something that isn’t real.