About value, evidence of authenticity and COA
Q: I bought two limited edition prints from an online art gallery. Please help me understand certificates of authenticity.
A: To begin with, you need to know what a Certificate of Authenticity or COA is because all kinds of COAs are floating around out there, both real and fake. And you need to see it BEFORE you buy the art, not after-- no matter what reasons a seller gives or what kinds of promises they make. Unless a certificate of authenticity originates from and is signed by either the artist who created the art, the publisher of the art (in the case of limited editions), a confirmed established dealer or agent of the artist (not a casual third party dealer or reseller), or an acknowledged expert on the artist, that certificate is likely to be pretty much meaningless.
A genuine COA must contain specific descriptive details about the art such as what the medium is (painting, sculpture, digital print, etc), the name of the artist or publisher (or both), the art's exact title or subject matter, dimensions, details of the edition size if it is a limited edition (along with the specific number of the item in question)...
Castle Fine Art Consultant
A signature adds value and it is evidence of authenticity. Unlike cheaper, mass-produced prints or posters, original or limited edition art is hand-signed by the artist and there is a finite number available. When you invest in an artist’s signature, you are choosing an artwork that has been personally curated by the artist – and what could be more valuable than that?
April 12, 2019 by Grace Ignacia See The Artling
Regardless of why you are buying a piece of art, regardless of its price tag, or even if you’re selling a work, its authenticity should always be questioned. Across the mediums of paintings, print or sculpture, art should always be accompanied by documentation. This is also known as provenance and provides the assurance that the work you’re about to acquire is genuine and made by the artist or produced by its foundation.
Good provenance provides an undoubted assurance that the work of art is genuine and produced by the artist that is stated, and should always bear their signature. Bad provenance, unfortunately, exists too often, especially at online art auctions due to unscrupulous sellers who claim to have documented ownership histories of fraudulent art.
There are many in ways in which you can verify the provenance of your artwork. The most common form of provenance is with a signed certificate of authenticity.