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Fine Art/Art: Conflicting COAs

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Alan,

Thank you for your reply. You are correct about the piece I bought being a copy of an original Picasso, as well as the fact that my copy (an alleged "original lithograph") is not catalogued anywhere. The correct title of the work is: "Verre, Bouteille de Vin, Pacquet de Tabac, et le Journal", according to the authoritative Online Picasso Project, which lists it as a collage made with gouache, charcoal and pieces of paper. There is no indication that it was ever listed in "Bloch", which I understand is the Bible of Picasso original lithos, etchings and other fine art print media. Here's a link to the information that indicates what I have was never, ever offered as an "original lithograph":
http://csdll.cs.tamu.edu:8080/picasso/WorksIndex?Year=1914&ViewStyle=gallery&Cur
(THEN CLICK ON THE IMAGE LABELED: OP.14:234)

So your thinking about my piece is correct, if I am not missing anything. Right?

Essentially, I have purchased a fake from Fine Art Treasures Gallery (FATG) televised auction, which has taken me to the tune of $5,025. To make matters worse, Discover Card is siding with the merchant, which has lied in writing concerning whether they ever claimed the piece was represented as an "original lithograph". I even sent Discover the COA that accompanied the piece that clearly states my piece is an "original lithograph", but to no avail.

Let my experience be a warning to consumers concerning Fine Art Treasures Gallery and Discover Card, which -- like FATG -- is no doubt making a handsome profit from this apparent fraud and apparently doesn't want to kill the golden goose by siding with me: the individual consumer. It is estimated that FATG can take in 200K a night, which means it is a big money-maker for the major credit card companies.

To add insult to injury, the Better Business Bureau, I have just learned, has given FATG the worst possible rating: "F" for defrauding its customers. (You can see for yourself by Googling BBB and entering "Fine Art Treasures Gallery".)

I'd like to receive your thoughts on this additional information, Alan. Perhaps other consumers can learn from my costly mistake.

At this point, I will engage an attorney, as you advised.

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Followup To

Question -
Via television auction I bought a purported "original lithograph", hand-signed by Picasso. Upon receipt of it, I checked out the Certificate of Authenticity, which I discovered had the wrong name of the artwork, wrong year in which the original artwork was created, and an authenticator's signature that did not look like a signature at all (a squiggle). When I complained to the auction house, I was sent another COA from a different "authenticator". The second COA referred to the print as a pochoir, had the wrong title of the artwork, named a different printer and publisher, and was signed with just a short curved line. Additionally, upon magnification, the artwork shows a pattern of dots characteristic of pictures found in mass-produced magazines and books. The auction house refuses to take the artwork back, saying that all sales are final and that I indeed have an "original lithograph" hand-signed by Picasso. I really doubt it. What are your thoughts?

Answer -
Frank--your concerned is, unfortunately, well placed.  You are right about the dots, the tell-tale sign of an offset lithograph [reproduction].  Ask for a catalog #, because EVERY Picasso original litho or engraving/etching, is catalogued.  They won't be able to provide one, I suspect,because the piece is a copy of a painting.  Hold up payment on your credit card.  If that doesn't work, get a lawyer.  I talk about those art auctions on tv in my latest book.  Good luck.  [I hope you only paid a few hundred, because that's all it's worth.]  Alan Klevit.

NOTE:  check out Alan's latest book, ART COLLECTING 101, at www.booklocker.com

Answer
I am so sorry.  I had already checked my Bloch catalogs, and am actually familiar with the stuff on tv.  Again, I wish you had read my book before buying.  I specifically talk about the rip off tv auctions on the very kind of Picasso reproduction you bought.  Good luck.  Alan.

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Alan Klevit

Expertise

I can provide sound advice on buying, collecting & understanding fine art, especially original works by 20th century masters and leading contemporary artists. I can also explain techniques used to create original works and offer tips on how to tell whether or not a piece is an original work of art.

Experience

I have been active in the art world for twenty-seven years. I owned and operated four galleries and a wholesale showroom on both coasts. We specialized in original works by 20th century masters and emerging artists. I have been an art consultant, artist's representative, lecturer, auctioneer, and curator. I had a radio show for two years, "Today's Art World with Alan Klevit" [Washington, D.C.]; hosted two television shows on the arts for six years [Los Angeles Area]; have written for numerous local papers and international art magazines; and currently write a syndicated column, "The Art Beat." I conduct art auctions for charities throughout the United States, and am a frequent speaker/auctioneer on upscale cruise ships, and at civic organizations and local television shows.







Publications
ART NEWS, ART IN AMERICA, FORECAST MAGAZINE, MALIBU MAGAZINE, PANTARBE.COM, MALIBU CHRONICLE, POTOMAC ALMANAC, GAITHERSBURG GAZETTE, ART DECOR, REGARDIES MAGAZINE.

Education/Credentials
Undergraduate and graduate degrees from Georgetown University and The American University

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