C and J Goodfriend Drawings and Prints
Online Exhibitions About Us How To Buy Drawings and Prints Print Making Techinques Contact Us Search Our Inventory

How do I know it's authentic?
How do I know that the price is right?
Can I Try To negotiate a better price?
Is it a good investment?
Am I getting a bargain?
Shouldn't I buy only famous prints?
Suppose I've never heard of an artist?
What about stolen goods?
What if I don't know about prints or drawings?
How many of them were made?
How good is the quality?
What should I collect?

How do I know it's authentic?

If you have the expertise, you know; if you do not have the expertise, you will want to consult and buy from someone who does. Reputable dealers will guarantee the authenticity of anything they sell. That is, they will refund your money and apologize if it can be shown that what they sold you is not what they said they sold you. Major auction houses will also guarantee authenticity within the limitations listed in detail in the disclaimers in their catalogues. In general, all guarantees are based on present scholarly opinion. Should that opinion change sometime in the future, the dealer or the auction house cannot be held responsible. Lesser auction houses will usually only guarantee the medium. If you buy a "Rembrandt etching" from one and it turns out not to be an etching, you get your money back; if it turns out to be an etching but not by Rembrandt, you don't. In buying from any other source, any guarantee of authenticity is something to be worked out between buyer and seller and, preferably, put in writing. You should always be clear on what degree of authenticity is being guaranteed. The authenticity of a print is usually a clear-cut matter, although a posthumous reprint does not have the value of an early impression. But a drawing by Tintoretto is not the same thing as a drawing "attributed to Tintoretto" or a drawing of the "circle of Tintoretto." The distinction is a matter of judgement, and since judgements, even on the same drawing, vary, you should be aware of which judgement you are buying.