Is My Artwork or Furniture Authentic?

How can you tell if your furniture or artwork is authentic? It takes a trained, expert eye to know the true value of your piece using key pieces of information. Watch the video below as we explain how artwork authentication and furniture authentication.


Is My Artwork or Furniture Authentic?: How to Authenticate Artwork

There are several ways to determine the authenticity of the artwork, including provenance, signatures, and quality. Seeking out an expert, such as a fine art auctioneer, can help you determine the authenticity of your art.

One way a fine art expert may begin to authenticate a piece of art is by determining its history or provenance. It is helpful if you can provide information on where you acquired the piece.? Was it purchased from a gallery,  did you inherit it, or did you receive it directly from the artist?? Who owned the piece before you, and how did they acquire it? Any information such as original receipts or other records such as appraisals from an authority or expert on the artist can help prove provenance. Many times labels or markings on the back of a painting can also help determine its history.

The signature or markings on the art will then be assessed against other known examples from the artist to determine if they are in the same style, location, size, and sometimes color. It will also be evaluated to ensure the signature was painted or drawn by hand and is not printed on the piece.

A piece will be inspected to see if it is created in the same medium, style, and subject matter the artist was known to use. For paintings, the paper, canvas, or board quality and type will be evaluated. Fine art prints such as lithographs or screen prints typically use a higher quality printing process and are on higher quality paper than inexpensive prints. These typically will still have a hand-signed signature and sometimes a series number added by hand in pencil after printing.


Is My Artwork or Furniture Authentic?: How to Authenticate Furniture

Furniture can be authenticated in a similar way to artwork by evaluating a piece’s provenance, construction, signatures, or markings. An auctioneer or furniture expert will question its provenance or history, where it was purchased, and who, if anyone, previously owned the item. Simpson Galleries may also look at any furniture restoration that was conducted on the piece. What has been done with the product to ensure it retains its value? Who did the restoration? Was it carried out in such a manner that preserved the piece to its original state, or did it fundamentally change the antique’s overall look? We will also look at its construction and the materials used.

Are you interested in learning more about authenticating your artwork? Contact Simpson Galleries today. Our experts in restoration and evaluation are eager to take your call.


Learn More:

Fine Art & Antiques

FAQ: Bidding

FAQ: Selling


Video Transcript

Item Authentication

Authentication Considerations

Welcome back to Simpson Galleries. Another question that we’re often asked is is my piece authentic or is it original?


Item Authentication

Oftentimes, that’s asked about a piece of artwork, but even a piece of furniture can be authenticated based on its condition, its age, its construction, how things were put together, and the materials in which they were made. All of this is a look into the history of the item or its provenance.

The provenance of a piece of artwork is also very important. So not only where did you buy the piece, but where did it come from before that person? If it was bought from a dealer, was it part of an original, more important collection?


Authentication Considerations

Not only do the names on a piece of art determine its authenticity or its value, but where it came from and how it came to get to be in your possession. All of these things can be determined based on images or in-person inspections of your items, and we would love to see those.

So please visit our website at or email us at [email protected] or give one of our experts a phone call at 713-524-6751. We would love to help you get started.