We have a safe-guarding art due diligence protocol to help clients navigate the hurdles with an artwork having a problematic history or questions surrounding it.
Title checks and claim checks of an artwork. This means proving clear and absolute ownership of an artwork. This includes checking relevant databases and making the right enquiries to consider whether there is a lien or other legal or beneficial interests in a work. This is an important step including national treasure laws, global regulations and other cross-border trading risks.
Provenance. We review and organise comprehensive provenance research by experienced art historians and art consultants. Provenance research involves tracing the artwork’s history back to the artist’s studio and its first owners. It can be a crucial process requiring checks with catalogues raisonné and other authenticating bodies. This involves art historical research concerning the exhibition history and other art historical records surrounding the object.
Forensic analysis by leading scientists. There are a variety of specific tests that can be conducted on an artwork from carbon 14, x-ray, UV, infra-red, pigment analysis, cross section reports and high-resolution photography. Forensic analysis works alongside technical art history, a discipline looking at the origins and make up of objects and their elements, the study of an artist’s practice and materials. Technical art historians then align this with art historical knowledge.
Seeking other expert opinions concerning authenticity, attribution, condition and value. Members of the group are familiar with working with the experts on key artists and will draw upon and consult individuals and foundations as the project dictates.
Due Diligence on the Sales Process
Sales can often be conducted in haste, under tense circumstances and across international jurisdictions. When this happens, it is vital that we establish a relationship to assist you speedily understanding your circumstances and best interests. Once ready to go, we will conduct due diligence on the sales process which includes:
Know Your Client: Known as KYC, we assist with verification and commercial due diligence on the seller and buyer, which includes comprehensive reports on private individuals and corporate entities. Whilst this is traditionally our practice, it is now a legal requirement under the 2019 anti-money laundering regulations.
The KYC process, once completed successfully will be followed by:
Legal assistance with review of documentation and contractual assistance to ensure relevant agreements are in place
Escrow: We are able to liaise and organise safe transfer of funds through trusted 3rd party escrow accounts which will hold the monies due and release them when the conditions of the contract are met. Using Escrow incurs an additional fee, but in return offers a higher and more transparent safeguard for the transaction.
Security measures to ensure safe viewing, purchase and delivery of artworks
Training to ensure the artwork is secure and cared for properly in its new home. Moving the artwork is an important consideration. It may need to be moved for viewing and will most likely also when the sale concludes. Handling this with both security and the preservation of the object requires special attention. We can assist with safe and secure protection and movement of the artwork whether overseas or whether temporary storage is needed in climate controlled special rooms.