In addition to offering humanity the possibility to express their imagination, art has evolved into a true commercial business. That is why as a consequence it has an extensive buyer and seller market. This is why the certificate of authenticity or the COA is the most important aspect of the circulation of works of art today, becoming the documentation that guarantees that the purchase is safe for all parties.

We invite you to read our guide so that you know everything you need to know about certificates of authenticity when buying and selling a work of art.

What is a certificate of authenticity?
Certificates of authenticity have existed for decades, they were once a source of prestige to prove the origin of the work. A certificate is usually a piece of paper that serves as a historical record of the sale made, as well as the record of the link between the work and the artist.

Why is it important to have a certificate of authenticity?
Unfortunately, we live in a world full of reproductions, so determining the value of an artwork depends entirely on making sure that what is being purchased is authentic. Thus, the certificates of authenticity will only add value to the work.

On the other hand, they also have the function of maintaining a historical record of the origin of the work, guaranteeing that the sale is legitimate.

What are the characteristics of a certificate of authenticity?

  • They can currently carry a hologram that matches the artwork or a serial number that is equally found on the artwork.
  • It must include a detailed description of the work such as title, technique, date of manufacture, material, dimensions, etc.
  • Artist contact.
  • Seller contact.
  • Artist’s signature.
  • Value of the work.
  • Photograph of the work.

How can a certificate of authenticity for ancient works fulfil its function?
Although there is no single answer, for a certificate to fulfil its function, it must be linked to the work of art in a way that cannot be manipulated, there must be the possibility of tracing the history of the work. Therefore, experts suggest, in this case, not based on the certificates, but on the origin of the work. In other words, having the possibility of verifying who the seller is and what their relationship is with the work for sale.

Who can issue a certificate of authenticity?
If the work in question belongs to a living artist, the certificate must come from him. Otherwise, there are different options: It could be issued by the gallery that represents the artist or some foundation and institution that has the power to do so.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when making a purchase of a work of art:

  • You should always confirm all the information that is inside the certificate.
  • Make sure that the document is original and that it is not a photocopy.
  • Receiving direct-purchase receipts from the artist or gallery that represents him can function as support material for verifying the origin and authenticity of the work.
  • Certificates of works made by famous artists who were part of a large production such as Warhol, Picasso, Miró and Chagall among others, must include a detailed description of the work, as well as specifications of the series to which it belongs. Mentions of previous owners, edition number of books and catalogues in which it appears.
  • Make sure the image that appears matches the artwork.
  • Make sure the artist’s signature matches the artwork.

If you require additional support, our experts are ready to provide it.

For more information please contact infoart@uniqluxury.com

Or visit our website where you can find a selection of works of art by world-renowned artists. https://uniqluxury.com.mx/art/

Por: Adriana Weinstock Dorenbaum

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