Frequently Asked Questions
How long does an appraisal take?
A professional appraisal usually requires three to four weeks for research, correspondence and writing. You will receive a full report with descriptions, photographs, valuation commentary, appraiser’s credentials and usually artist’s biography. We will also send a second copy for your insurance company or other user of your choosing.
Can’t I do my own appraisal with online information?
Remember, the Internet is full of lies, ignorance, crooks, conmen and misinformation and E-bay does not police the authenticity, let alone the pricing, of artworks offered for sale on the site. Relying on what you find there can be extremely dangerous and possibly damaging. It’s like diagnosing your own illness by looking up symptoms. I offer the most credible information and you can count on it totally. My reputation is based on my always being independent and demonstrating my integrity.
Why go to a source that almost certainly is based on only a fraction of the experience I offer? What appear to be comparable artworks may not be at all and you could lose significant money, cheat someone or incur tax fraud liabilities. The price of your tuition could be very expensive.
At the same time, you could use a certified member of the Association of Online Appraisers, like myself, who would do a fully professional appraisal at a distance of artworks that are either unavailable for examination (lost, stolen or destroyed) or not of sufficient value to justify shipping them to the appraiser. Call us to talk over your options.
How do I sell my artworks? Do you buy?
As a totally independent and disinterested appraiser, I don’t buy, sell or broker art, but I’ll always tell you everything I know about those who do and hopefully I’ll be able to give you some good recommendations and put you in touch with just the right brokerage service or dealer.
Should I have my art appraised before selling it through a dealer, gallery or art brokerage service?
Yes. That way you’ll know everything you should so that you can work with the seller to be sure he understands what you are offering and you can be sure you are asking and getting a fair price.
What do I do if you tell me my Dalí artwork is a fake?
We have various options that you can pursue which I’ll be glad to discuss with you. You may not lose the money you invested in what you believed to be a genuine work by Salvador Dali.
How often should I get my artwork reappraised?
The answer depends on what you have. The more value, the more frequently we should update the research and Appraisal Report. You wouldn’t want to let more than fours years pass and for valuable art, a new appraisal should be done after two or three years. Art values can change a great deal (sometimes dropping, but usually appreciating) and will be affected by various factors in the general economy, the career of the artist, exhibitions and publications and other factors. If you need to file an insurance claim, make a charitable donation, give art to a relative or do estate planning, you’ll want to be sure you are working with accurate and updated values.
What makes you the expert?
Experience and hard work. I have seen more genuine Dalí artworks than anyone else and more fakes as well. I have had access to museum collections, publishers’ files, court evidence, private collections and a great many individual pieces. My expertise is based on forty years of experience, connoisseurship and due diligence in examining works using art detective techniques. I’ve successfully appraised and determined authenticity for over 55,000 prints and over 1,000 unique artworks attributed to Salvador Dalí.
Who or what is Salvador Dalí?
Salvador Dalí is widely considered to be one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. A Spaniard and a Surrealist, he was also one of the most bizarre and entertaining of characters. The market for his art has been plagued with massive fraud and I am the expert who can always tell the real Dalís from the fakes.
Why are there so many fake Dalís?
Salvador Dalí was a prolific artist and his work is so popular and valuable that it has attracted forgers since before his death. He did little to fight the forgeries, choosing instead to feel flattered and from 1980 until his death in 1989 he was a recluse and out of touch with the market.
The real key to the matter, however, is that until I developed my expertise, there was nowhere to turn. Everyone believed that the issue was impossible to unravel and it was through the many prosecutions for which I served as expert witness that I obtained extensive information about the forgers. In 1987 I began fighting and unmasking them with the help of many federal law enforcement and regulatory agencies. Many of those closest to the artist were themselves involved in producing and distributing fake original works and prints with forged signatures. Some are still in business.
What do I do if you tell me my Dalí artwork is a fake?
We have various options that you can pursue which I’ll be glad to discuss with you. You may not lose the money you invested in what you believed to be a genuine work by Salvador Dalí.
Who appraises other stuff?
We have a wide network of other trained and certified appraisers to whom we’ll be happy to refer you if we can’t help you. We’ll only refer you to good professionals who practice in conformity with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and whom we know will treat you well.