The evaluation of the price of an object of art (or collection) depends above all on its degree of authenticity. To determine whether a good is genuine or not, the buyer may refer to certain documents.
The particulars appearing in the certificate of authenticity and the documents of authenticity are regulated by the regulations. The Marcus Decree of 3 March 1981 imposes standards for the authentication of an object of art or an antique piece of furniture. These rules are primarily intended to prevent fraud.
The decree thus provides that the seller of works of art or collector's objects shall, when the buyer so requests, 'issue to him an invoice, a receipt, a bill of sale or an extract from the report of the sale Public specification of the nature, composition, origin and seniority of the thing sold '. In case of subsequent litigation concerning the authenticity of the property, the particulars associated with its description will be decisive.
Mentions and guarantees The regulations distinguish several types of mentions, which do not offer the same guarantees as regards the characteristics of the object concerned. For the seller, breaching the rules that follow exposes him to a 5th grade fine.
Designation of the artist The first type of information concerns works or objects: - bearing the artist's signature or stamp - with the words 'by' or 'of' followed by the author's designation - with the name of the artist immediately followed by the designation or title of the work.
Each of these three cases entails a guarantee that the artist mentioned is the author of the work, unless the indication is accompanied by an express reservation as to the authenticity of the object.
Attribution to the artist Where the document contains the words 'attributed to' followed by an artist's name, it is considered that the work or object was performed during the production period of the named artist and that serious presumptions The latter as the probable author.
Workshop of the artist The use of the terms 'workshop' followed by an artist's name guarantees that the work has been performed in the master's studio or under his direction. The mention of a workshop must be followed by a period indication in the case of a family workshop that has retained the same name over several generations.
School of the artist The use of the terms 'school of' followed by an artist's name entails the guarantee that the author of the work has been the pupil of the cited master, has notably undergone his influence or benefited from his technique. These terms can only apply to a work performed during the artist's lifetime or in less than fifty years after his death.
Where it refers to a specific place, the use of the term 'school of' ensures that the work has been performed during the lifetime of the designated artistic movement, the time of which must be specified, and by an artist Participated in this movement.
Other expressions without warranty The expressions 'in the style of', 'style', 'manner of', 'genre', 'after', 'manner of', do not confer any particular guarantee of artist's identity, Work, or school.
Reproduction and copying Any facsimile, overmoulding, copying or other reproduction of a work of art or an object of collection must be designated as such.