Guide 104 - Provenance of the Artwork

February 26, 2019

Guide 104 - Provenance of the Artwork

wovensouls antieu textiles and art gallery
Often in an online listing we see references of provenance or names of individuals who had purchased it before us.
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What does provenance do for the art? What value does it add?
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In my opinion (which is quite obviously not a mainstream opinion) the previous owner of art is as inconsequential to the real value of the art as say the packaging material used to transport it.
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The fact that a celebrity owned it before me is not going to make it more beautiful to me.
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The only two things that really matter are a) my personal judgement of the artwork - for which I need to spend time educating myself b) my attraction to it.
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If I do seek third-party endorsement it would be from scholars and experts who  have seen hundreds of that item pass through their hands so that they may point out aspects that I had not noticed. If such a person were to be the previous owner then and only then would provenance matter to me. So I can rest assured that if Expert Mr. PJS approved of it, then I am making a wise choice.
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On the other hand if it belonged to the estate of celebrity or singer XYZ it would not matter at all. In fact it might be counterproductive as I would be worried of the unwarranted escalation in prices.
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Instead of provenance of ownership, I would love it if we could be told the names of the artists who created that beauty! But in the case of folk art especially those pieces created a long time ago, these details are lost forever.
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But my opinion is not important. The fact is that artworks linked to big-name previous owners do command an increased premium.
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