Art Transactions: Provenance in its Many Forms

Legal professional Alexei Schacht is based in New York, where he practices criminal and civil law. Additionally, Alexei Schacht is often called upon to manage commercial art transactions.

In the art world, authenticity is a major concern. When a work of art is unquestionably and genuinely authored by the artist who signed it, it may be accompanied by a certificate or confirmation of authenticity. This documentation is known as provenance. Provenance is required because imitations, forgeries, and other misrepresented works of art are frequently offered to buyers at auctions, both online and in person.

Provenance certificates may also be forged or manipulated, yet there are several ways for potential buyers to determine whether the provenance itself is authentic. It may take the form of a certificate or sticker, a statement from the artist, a sales receipt, an article, an appraisal, or other forms of correspondence. Recognized or qualified art experts may also verbally confirm the authenticity of a work.

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