What is a COA and why are they important?

Find peace in mind knowing when you shop at that the artwork you purchase is genuine and always comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 12.48.22 PMWhat Is a Certificate of Authenticity?

A Certificate of Authenticity is a bit like an artwork’s birth certificate, passport and quality guarantee all rolled into one.

Essentially, a COA is a document, created by the artist or someone who is an expert on the artist, which accompanies an artwork and contains all the information a collector could need to verify if the piece of art is genuine.

A Certificate of Authenticity (COA) provides a lot of concrete detail about a piece, but by existing for a particular piece, it says even more. An artwork that has a COA is one that is made by a professional practicing artist, not an amateur. It is a piece that has collectible value. The Certificate adds a tangible credibility to the work. It can help the work hold its value.

The COA is held to be an indirect promise of quality. Art pieces that have a COA have usually been made by an artist who cares about their work, its longevity and their collectors. The piece is likely to have been created from the best materials available, be designed to last and been created by an expert. Back to the concrete details, the Certificate will provide all the information on the medium(s) of the piece needed for conservation that might otherwise be lost forever.

Certificates protect the artist and the buyer by helping to prove that an artwork is original. Cheap copies sold without an artist’s knowledge or consent is unfortunately common. Without a COA attached, this situation makes it next to impossible for the buyer to be confident of the value of the piece or for the artist to maintain their credibility and their livelihood.

As an art collector, you really must only buy Fine Art pieces that are backed by a Certificate of Authenticity. This helps ensure that what you have bought at a premium is genuine and not counterfeit.

Happy Memorial Day From

For All Those Who Have Served and Are Currently Serving, Thank You. Happy Memorial Day from! Head on over to & our eBay store for our Memorial Day Sale!

Peter Max, Flag with Heart - 1991

Peter Max, Flag with Heart – 1991

Peter Max, Flag - 2013

Peter Max, Flag – 2013

Dave McGary, Strikes with Thunder - 1989

Dave McGary, Strikes with Thunder – 1989 Make an Offer No Reasonable Offer Refused

Head over to to see the amazing collection we have available.

Head over to to see the amazing collection we have available.

Robert Cottingham, Hot - 2009

Robert Cottingham, Hot – 2009

Sam Francis, Untitled - 1984

Sam Francis, Untitled – 1984

Jim Dine, The Bather - 2005

Jim Dine, The Bather – 2005

Robert Rauschenberg , Cage - 1983

Robert Rauschenberg , Cage – 1983

Salvador Dali, Tristan & Isolde - 1972

Salvador Dali, Tristan & Isolde – 1972

Semi-Annual Sale Make An Offer All Reasonable Offers Considered

Click here to view our complete Make an Offer flyer.

Head over to to see all that we have to offer.

Head over to to see all that we have to offer.


Keith Haring – Pop Shop Quad I, 1987

17 x 19.5 inches, Screen print - 2013 152/1000

Andy Warhol (Sunday B. Morning) – Dollar Sign, 2013

Love, 1971

Peter Max – Love, 1971


Robert Indiana – Love Suite

Sage, 2013

Peter Max – Sage, 2013

Do Riches Await in the Van Gogh Auction Market?

Source: artnet Analytics

A key highlight of Sotheby’s evening Impressionist and modern art sale next month is a rare Vincent Van Gogh still life with an estimate of $30–50 million. Sotheby’s calls Still Life, Vase with Daisies and Poppies (1890) “the most important still life by Van Gogh to appear at auction in more than two decades” and Simon Shaw, co-head of the Impressionist and modern art department worldwide noted that the “beautiful, vibrant composition captures in sharp relief the intensity of the artist at the height of his mania, only weeks before his tragic end.”

Vincent van Gogh, Still Life.

Certainly today’s booming global art market provides an appropriate backdrop for a bidding battle over this work. Few artist names resonate more with art lovers and collectors or have the kind of star power that can draw masses to museum and gallery shows. “The Van Gogh name is one of the few truly magic global names. It’s a name that resonates in Beijing as it does in London, San Francisco, and Kiev,” says Shaw.

Despite this, the Dutch artist has what is arguably one of the most erratic auction track records in the world, often rising and falling in tandem with broader collecting and economic trends. Compounding this is the relative scarcity of major works available, given the artist’s short, turbulent life and the fact that most works have already been snapped up for good by prestigious museums including the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Drawing on artnet Analytics data going back to 1985, we took a look at some of the highs and lows of this market.

The 1980s Art Market Boom
Van Gogh auction totals skyrocketed along with the broader art market, from $13.8 million in 1985 to $124.3 million in 1987, and then plummeted to $4.5 million in 1988. Van Gogh was among the artist names—along with Pierre Auguste Renoir—most closely associated with speculative buying by Japanese collectors.

In 1990, when an aggressive Japanese businessman named Ryoei Saito (who later ran into financial trouble and was arrested for bribing a politician over a property deal) shelled out a stunning $82.5 million for Van Gogh’s Portrait of Dr. Gachet, it became the most expensive painting ever sold at auction, a distinction it maintained for many years afterward. That year, auction volume for Van Gogh was $110.7 million. Four years later, in 1994, it was zero.

Scarcity of available works is also a major factor. For some of his Imp/mod sale contemporaries like the prolific Picasso, it is not unusual to see upwards of a half-dozen works in a major evening sale. The fact that major Van Goghs are so rare and so expensive often translates to huge swings in volume. In May 2006, Christie’s offered a portrait of Madame Ginoux, a proprietor of a local cafĂ© in Arles that Van Gogh frequented during his stay there from 1888 to 1889. L’ArlĂ©sienne Madame Ginoux (1890) sold for $40.3 million, barely scraping the low end of the $40–50 million estimate but accounting for the lion’s share of the 2006 $53.5 million auction total, according to artnet Analytics. Three of four paintings offered that year found buyers.

The Economic Crisis Catches Up to the Art Market
In 2007, amid the height of the housing crisis and the broader downturn in the global economy, Sotheby’s had an expensive buy-in on its hands when The Fields (Wheat Fields) (1890) failed to find a bidder on its lofty estimate of $28–35 million. The total that year was a relatively slim $7.3 million for three works sold. (Sotheby’s confirmed that the work was later sold privately.) Conversely, one of the lowest totals on record was in 2000, when eight works came to auction. Of these, six were sold for a total of $9.5 million.

A Record Price for Irises…Or Not?
At times, the colorful characters involved with buying Van Gogh works have been as much a part of the story as the prices. In 1987, immediately on the heels of the massive October 1987 stock market crash, Australian financier Alan Bond paid $53.9 million for Van Gogh’s Irises (see “10 Game Changing Auctions.”).  That year also marked the highest-ever overall volume of Van Gogh work sold at auction with $124 million, a level that has not been exceeded in a single year since, according to artnet Analytics.

When it was revealed nearly two years later that Sotheby’s had lent Bond about $27 million—roughly half the purchase price—and that Bond still wasn’t fully paid up, many observers deemed the $53.9 million price inflated and “manipulated.” They said it had inspired false confidence in the ability of the art market to withstand broader economic volatility. The painting was eventually snapped up for an undisclosed price by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, where it still hangs today.

The whereabouts of Dr. Gachet remain decidedly more mysterious. Ryoei Saito sparked outrage when he publicly proclaimed that he would be buried with Dr. Gachet as well as with Pierre Auguste Renoir’s Au Moulin de Galette (1876) which he paid $78.1 million for at Sotheby’s just two nights later. Dr. Gachet was reportedly eventually sold to Austrian financier Wolfgang Flottl, who also ran into his own financial difficulties. Dr. Gachet has not been seen in public since the 1990 Christie’s auction.

Meanwhile, Shaw said the upcoming still-life has been drawing interest from around the world, but notably interest from both mainland China and Hong Kong, as well as from Brazil, where growing ranks of newly wealthy buyers have embraced collecting. At the Sotheby’s London auction this past February of L’homme est en mer (1889) the painting sold for $27.5 million (ÂŁ16.9 million), far higher than its $13 million high estimate—Shaw says other palpable factors contributing to its ultimate high price were global demand and an emphasis on the “best of the best.”

Van Gogh L'homme est en mer-Sothebys

Biggest Marc Chagall Retrospective In 50 Years Opens In Milan

Marc Chagall, La mucca con l’ombrello 1946, olio su tela New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of Richard S. Zeisler, 2007 (2007.247.3) © Chagall ®, by SIAE 2014.

Marc Chagall, La mucca con l’ombrello 1946, olio su tela New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of Richard S. Zeisler, 2007 (2007.247.3) © Chagall ®, by SIAE 2014.

MILAN.- “Will the hurried men of today be able to penetrate her work, her world?” is the question asked by Marc Chagall in 1947 in the postface to the memoirs of his wife Bella, who left him “in the shadows” following her sudden death three years earlier. However, this question could also be asked about his own work, the work of an artist who speaks such a universal language that he is loved by everyone alike, both young and old, men and women, scholars and men on the street. Chagall is an artist who is known and recognized by everyone and, out of all the 20th-century artists, was one of the few to remain faithful to himself despite living through a century of wars, catastrophes, political and technological upheavels. The exhibition narrative has arisen from a question and a need: on the one hand, the attempt to understand the strength that an enabled an artist who experimented with the styles of all the avant-garde movements, to remain so consistent to himself, always curious about the world around him, developing a style that can be recognized immediately by people of any age and any social status; on the other, the need to study Chagall’s work in order to identify the secret behind the poetry of this fragile man who was yet able to keep faith with his traditions and with his humanity, despite living in a world shaken to the core by indescribable and until then unimaginable catastrophes. The exhibition opened on 17 September at the Palazzo Reale in Milan and is the biggest retrospective ever devoted to Marc Chagall in the last 50 years in Italy, with over two hundred and twenty works – mainly paintings from 1908 onwards, when Chagall painted his first work Le Petit Salon, right up to his final, monumental works of the 1980s – which guide visitors through the artistic career of Marc Chagall. Works from the collections of his heirs, some of which have not been exhibited to the public before, feature alongside masterpieces from the world’s most important museums, including the MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the National Gallery in Washington, the State Russian Museum in St Petersburg, the Centre Pompidou, and over fifty public and private collections that have so generously collaborated. The exhibition theme therefore focuses on a new interpretation of the language of Chagall, whose poetic vein developed throughout the 20th century out of a blend of the best western European traditions: from his original Jewish culture to the Russian culture and his encounter with French avant-garde painting. The exhibition features a comprehensive chronological narrative, which is divided into sections, starting with his earliest works painted in Russia; his first visit to France and his subsequent return to Russia where he stayed until 1921; the second period of his exile, opened by the autobiography written by Chagall when he left Russia forever, living firstly in France and then, in the 1940s running away from Nazism, in America where he endured the tragedy of the death of his beloved wife Bella; his return to France and his decision to settle permanently on the Cote d’Azur, where Chagall rediscovered his most relaxed poetic language, calmed by the colors and atmosphere of the south. The exhibition provides visitors with an understanding of how, despite living in perennial exile, Chagall never lost hold of the thread that kept the child he used to be in his heart; how, over the years and throughout the terrible events that marred his existence, he succeeded in preserving his sense of amazement, joy and wonder inspired by nature and humanity, as well as his strong faith that led him to believe in the possibility of a better world and seek to build it in all possible ways. Visitors will also discover his highly original poetic language, born out of the assimilation of the three cultures to which he belonged: Jewish culture (the visual tradition of its ornate manuscripts inspired the expressive, non-perspectival and sometimes mystic elements of his work); Russian culture (evident both in the folk images of the luboks and the religious images of the icons); western culture (in which he assimilates the great artists of tradition, from Rembrandt to the avant-garde artists whom he frequented so assiduously). They will also observe his sense of wonder at nature and the amazement inspired by living creatures that places him closer to medieval sources than 20th-century ones. Flowers and animals are a constant presence in his paintings, enabling him on the one hand to overcome the Jewish interdiction of human depiction, while on the other becoming metaphors for a possible world in which all living beings can live in peace as in Russian mediaeval culture. In the words of Giovanni Arpino: “The soul of Chagall is a bleating soul, as mild as it is invincible because it escapes the horrors, the snares, the outrages … His paradise is an earthly Otherworld that encompasses the simulacra of life, a physical place that becomes metaphysical precisely because we have all killed it during daily life.” His art constitutes a sort of metissage between cultures and traditions. The fundamental key to his modernity lies in his desire to transform contamination into a value, a work of art into a language able to ask questions that have as yet been left unanswered by mankind. After Milan the exhibition will travel to the prestigious Musees royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique/Koninklike Musea voor Schone Kunsten van Belgie, Bruxelles. (View the original article here).

Have a look at our beautiful Marc Chagall collection here, it’s always on display.

A Son Discover’s His Father’s Life Of Crime Was Made Famous By Andy Warhol

George Lawler next to a Warhol portrait of his father, Thomas Francis (Duke) Connelly, which he by chance found out existed. Credit Sara Krulwich/The New York Times; the work of Andy Warhol licensed by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

George Lawler next to a Warhol portrait of his father, Thomas Francis (Duke) Connelly, which he by chance found out existed. Credit Sara Krulwich/The New York Times; the work of Andy Warhol licensed by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

George Lawler always knew his father was a criminal — his mug shot had been on New York City’s most wanted list in 1962. What he did not know was that his father had been a muse, of sorts, for Andy Warhol.

Mr. Lawler’s father, Thomas Francis (Duke) Connelly, was one of Warhol’s subjects in the installation “13 Most Wanted Men,” which was briefly displayed at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. He was sought for robbing at gunpoint a Chase Manhattan Bank branch in Woodside, Queens, in 1955, and making off with over $300,000.

He and his wife, Ann Connelly, went on the run with their two children, whom they later abandoned. The couple were never found.

Now, Mr. Connelly’s portrait, or police photo, depending on how you look at it, is one of nine on view at the Queens Museum as part of an exhibition titled “13 Most Wanted Men: Andy Warhol and the 1964 World’s Fair.”

On Thursday, Mr. Lawler and his wife traveled from their home in Essex, Conn., to view his father as a work of art. “I still can’t believe that my father, the bank robber, is associated with Andy Warhol,” he said. “That completely blows my mind.”

Mr. Lawler and his sister, Veronica Gural, a nurse at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, never saw their parents after 1955, when Mr. Lawler was left by his mother in a church in Wilmington, Del., and his sister at a 5 & 10 store in Baltimore.

“I was only 2 years old at the time,” Mr. Lawler said, “and I swear I remember this, although my wife doesn’t believe me, but I knew my mother was full of soup when she left me at that church and said she’d be right back.”

Mr. Lawler and his sister were adopted by their mother’s sister and her husband, Mary and Joseph Lawler, and raised in Richmond Hill, Queens. Joseph Lawler was a police officer. When the younger Mr. Lawler was 14, his adopted father told him who his real father was: a thief who had run with a much tougher group of Irish gangsters and hit men on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

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