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Aug 17 12 11:50 PM

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Letters and certificates of authenticity are only as good the people who sign them. On eBay right now, there is an embarrasingly good example of a very bad certificate.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nagel-Mirage-Edition-Color-Lithograph-Original-with-Certificate-of-Authenticity-/110924509681?pt=Art_Prints&hash=item19d39db1f1


The print in question is "Montana, Commemorative #13."  It is a serigraph that was originally silkscreened at Samper Silkscreen after Pat Nagel's death.  Although an open edition lithograph was published in 1993 by Lipman, this is clearly the Samper version.  But note the way it is described as "an exclusively commissioned color lithograph."  Notice too how the certificate relies upon a lot of fancy-sounding gibberish to give one the impression that this is a valuable print that was printed under the guidance of Nagel himself ("It was pulled under strict supervision to insure and uphold the highest standards for original lithographic art.  It is therefore an original work of the artist, not a reproduction or facsimile print.").  


Terms are important.  If someone is misdescribing something they are selling, it either means they (1) do not know what they are talking about or (2) do not care to learn about what they are selling.   Do not just look at the piece of artwork when considering whether to purchase, consider the source of the art itself. 


When one buys from a dealer or gallery, one should expect that the dealer or gallery owner knows about what he or she is selling.  You will be, after all, purchasing the work at a premium because you are presumably benefitting from the dealer's knowledge.  If you ever get garbage info thrown at you, its a clear sign to exit the gallery without leaving a penny behind.












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