In this section we will deal with objects such as paintings, vessels, and collection ornaments. We will try to give you general information about each artistic period to guide you on the purchase of these objects. However, this is merely informative, and when dealing with these objects it is better to hire an expert.
The first thing we have to do when buying a painting or handicraft is to check whether it is an original or a reproduction. In the case of these objects, reproduction is something usual. We say is the first thing and not the only one, because it is also important to know the value of an art object, regardless it is an original or not. Many paintings and handicrafts -such as vessels- might be original creations and lack value for different reasons, as we will explain later.
Therefore, the first step is to tell the difference between an original and a reproduction. To do this, we recommend you hire an expert with the necessary skills and instruments to verify it. If you decide to do it yourself, here you will find some guidelines to do it:
- Materials: Verifying materials is a very useful authentication mechanism for paintings and handicrafts. Checking that the painting has been painted with materials that are available at the time of making it, or assessing that the vessel is made with typical materials of the period are the very first steps to avoid buying an imitation. However, beware many reproductions are made with the same materials as the original. This is proved when we find a painting painted with acrylic paint, and it is attributed to Uccello. Uccello is a Renaissance painter, and in this period they used oil paint instead of acrylic paint.
- Technique: It is essential to verify that the making of the piece corresponds with the technique used during that period. For instance, we all know that paint has been through different techniques throughout history. It is very important to assess that the painting we want to buy is made with the technique corresponding with the period it is said to belong to.
- Concept: This verifying point is quite superfluous, since a good forger or con artist would not make this fatal error. However, we will discuss it briefly. Each period has its own conceptual parameters, and observes typical motifs -religion, love, myth, war, etc. For instance, we cannot consider as authentic a painting alleged to belong to the Baroque when it presents a Kandinsky-style abstract motif.
In the second place, it is very important to find out if the piece that you are considering to buy -and you already know it is original- is valuable. Not all art objects are valuable just for the mere fact that they are antique. Moreover, the majority of them are not valuable for this reason. Correspondence with the beginning of a style, death of an artist, an important historical period, or an artist's creation, are some of the main reasons that grant value to the piece. Another reason for valuing them is the fact they are rare. As collecting is a hobby that times is arbitrary, a piece that seems mediocre but is widely wanted for collectors, for some strange reason can be a very valuable object.