Consult artfakes for free before you buy
– the choice is yours
Every day receives letters from visitors

Nov. 9, 2005: A visitors letter

unfortunately, I apparently bought one of these forgeries you talk about on ebay before seeing your site. I'm pretty disgusted and needless to say feel pretty foolish. I didn't realize the problem was so bad on ebay as the dealer had a decent feedback rating and I didn't realize about bid "shilling" and all that and to be honest, I had no idea what a Picasso sketch goes for if it isn't particularly intricate and it is on a small torn piece of paper. I thought 900$!!!! seemed pretty fair...but alas, a fool and his money etc...etc... I am just curious-can you tell me how you know so quickly that something is a forgery without inspecting it close up. I am going to stay as far away as possible from art from now on but I'm just curious. All the "works" by Picasso on your site were ones I was watching at one point or another and could fool me and apparently others...Is there something that is a dead giveaway or is it different every time? Are you sure about all of them?

S., United states



Thanks very much for your letter and for your interest in artfakes. First thing first: You (as do many of our visitors) keep asking the same question – and for good reason:

“How come that we are able to tell the difference between the fake and the genuine work?

We’re sorry to say that the answer to your question is not as simple as one should think. On our site you will find some articles about that issue, but the main key to understanding art is a lifetime of meticulous studying together with a deep interest for art and some skills of your own. And that goes for any kind of art. Here’s another comparison: A period within music is called the Vienna Classical Period, which I’m sure you’re familiar with. Skilled people can tell the difference between pieces of music by Mozart and Beethoven by listening but words (explanations) fail, two comparable composers in some of their works they are. Here’s another example: Identical twins look similar to strangers at first glance (sight), but be sure their parents are never in doubt who’s who.

So much to that issue, but we encourage you to read our articles and start learning for yourself!
We hope you’ve got an idea now to what we’re getting at.

We could of course tell you much about things like composition, lines, motives and choice of colours (all of them the master’s fingerprints so to speak) but this would sure carry us too far. Next time you consider buying, our piece of advice is to seek out for a well-reputed auction house.

Least but not last: The concept at eBay called “feedback rating” (please take notice: never negative!) has in our opinion absolute no value except from the seller’s point of view – it’s all mend to fool innocent and less skilled buyers.



Team artfakes