My name is Philip Norman and some of you may have heaard of me before - in a different life. But this page is a about my secret passion and it is the life that I enjoy the most. I do hope that you will want to shaare my passion. And if you want to talk about things then e-mail me with whatever you want to say. The best way to find us is click on COMMUNITY, then FIND A MEMBER, enter NEWTRICKS2010 and I will be there waiting for you.....
For good reasons and bad we have had to change our principal e-bay marketing platform. Our new venue is called NEWTRICKS2010 or just search for any of the key words shown below where you will be able to inexpensively acquire electronic books (CD's) books on OIL PAINTING RESTORATION, MAKING AND REPAIRING GRAND AND GLORIOUS PICTURE FRAMES, FAKE PAINTINGS - IDENTIFY OR CREATE THEM ?!?!?, OUR OWN COMMENTARY ON KEATING - THE GREAT ENGLISH FAKER, MODERN AND TRADITIONAL GILDING TECNIQUES AND A BARGAIN BUNDLE THAT INCLUDES ALL OF OUR TITLES.
Oil paintings, water colours, acrylics, drawings both ancient and modern are all capable of being copied.
The best way to recognise them is to learn how they are made. Our 1,300 page book on this subject complete with many colour photographs is a unique publication and a world first.
This picture hangs in my own lounge and is just under two metres long and in the book you will discover just how this type of production was made. It cost me £35 to make and I have been offered over £3,000 but, of course, if I sold it then I would be in serious trouble.But if the buyer had read the book then he would never have made the offer......................
There is now way of guaranteeing that any picture is genuine unless you have some real knowledge of the subject but you can minimize the risks to a certain valuable extent.
LET THE BUYER BEWARE. E-Bay auctions are no different from any other auctions.
Auctions are like any other market place but knowledge is strength !
There are many theoretical publications available that purport to offer help but few are written from a practical point of view and even fewer that are written by poachers turned game keepers - like our selves.
If you do make a mistake and there is no one to help you then there is one consolation and that is that if you feel that you were inadvertantly mislead without redress then you can always sell it in a local auction. There is nothing untoward about this practice in that even professionals get caught out and this procedure is accepted as being "all part of the game" - and the game is called "PASS THE PARCEL".
But here are a few tips which should help, -
- Obviously do be careful of vendors with no track record and try to deal only with established dealers with a good feed back record.
- Always look at the vendor's other pictures - particularly the backs ! If they all look similar then this could be a bad sign. Pictures are like people in that they are all mostly significantly different.
- Consider the price being asked ! If the painting is important then it probably deserves to be in Southeby's or another major auction house.
- Remember that you generally get what you pay for in this life and there are few genuine bargains.
- Look at the other bidders; after all it has been known for small circles of friends to help each other and it could be a bad place for strangers to do business.
- Spelling and grammar can be important (but not here of course). If the vendor is illiterate then it could be genuine but it may be a more insidious indication. (Unless the vendor is foreign).
- Check the signature. There are web sites that give this information freely. The writer has recently seen an offer at £3,000 where the picture included a signature that was obviously wrong.
- The most important advice that I can give in this small guide is to ask questions but try to ask obtuse rather than straight forward ones.
- Although, in another guide, it is stated that signatures do not appear before a certain date many artists used monograms and the use of these goes right back to the 14th century and even earlier.
- One vendor has been sighted offering a 17th century work of art painted on plywood which was only invented in the 19th century.
- Watch out for low "BUY IT NOW" item prices with high postage and insurance who will only refund the item price in the event of a refund being demanded.
- Beware of miniature or other small paintings where there is a multitude of obvious brush marks. In real life artists go to great trouble in avoiding this and so why are the brush marks so apparent ? Is it to trap the unwary into believing that this is a true "painting" ?
- Visit the art galleries and imbue yourself with as many impressions as you are able in order to gird your loins for the coming fray.
- Watch out for phony cracks in paintings. Cracks do appear but mostly where you do not want them and if they only appear in the corners or at the edges then be careful.
- Consider the condition of the canvas used. I have seen very old paintings in pristine condition which is rare outside of an art gallery. Most pictures spend their lives in pride of place over the mantlepiece in the days when smokey fire grates were common.
- Consider the stretchers which support the canvas. Does the wood really look old or do they look as though they have been deliberately aged ?
- Consider the picture frame. The Chinese are offering excellent ranges of inexpensive frames but most are readily identifiable and so have a look at a few web sites to get the feel for their designs. Beware of small triangular plywood fillets which reinforce the corners. Only the Chinese do this as part of their mass production manufacture.
- Consider the corners of the stretchers. Are they mitred or butt jointed ? The fillets of thin wood used to actual adjust the stretch on the canvas may have an impossible job if the corner joints are inappropriate.
- Look at the back of the painting and remember that dust falls and the bottom stretcher should be dirtier than the others.
- Ask yourself why there is any dust at all on the back ? Most people clean their valuables before offering them for sale. (But, of course, a very few do not).
- Does the vendor really know what he is talking about ? Does he confuse gesso with plaster or composition with wood carving or even gilt with gold leaf ?
These are only a few of the points which the unwary should heed and for further guidance I must refer you elsewhere although unfortunately I am not allowed to say exactly where but the more astute amongst you will probably realize the obvious !