Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Don't be misled by COAs

Certificates of Authenticity (COA) are easily printable and mean nothing if not backed by a reputable dealer. Dealers who represent artists or their estates automatically have access to primary source information that can be used to authenticate works. A dealer with an extensive history of handling a specific artist's work will also build up an archive of information as well as a body of experience that can help resolve questions of authorship and title. Unfortunately, false and forged COAs are commonplace in the art market. And don't be confused: COAs and appraisals are two distinctly different instruments. An appraisal is an informed opinion as to the value, quality, condition and authenticity of an article of personal property which survives for a limited time. As new information becomes available, an appraiser's opinion on any of these aspects may change. (KRG recommends that you have artwork reevaluated every two years.) Appraisals are commonly relied upon by the insurance industry to establish a "fair market replacement value" in the event of property loss. It goes without saying that a reputable dealer will not appraise a painting that s/he does not believe to be genuine. Remember, paperwork is only as good as the reputation of the person who stands behind it. (Addt'l info available at
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  1. By request of the Art Dealers Association of Canada (ADAC), KRG provide appraisals of Morrisseau art to The Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board (CCPERB) which are relied upon by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

  2. ADAC enacted a rule that "no certificates of authenticity will be issued by any members of ADAC with respect to any works or purported works by Norval Morrisseau."


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