We work with the leading dealers and the major auction houses in the United States. Our auction house clients including Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Freeman’s, Skinner, Northeast Auctions, and Heritage Auctions. We have also worked with Pook and Pook, Guyette and Deeter, and Litchfield County Auctions.
We work with auction houses during the consignment process to answer questions about the state of preservation of a work, the attribution, and the date of production. We carry out this work on paintings including old masters, Impressionists and early modernists, expressionists, and contemporary works. This includes not only confirming that the palette of the work is appropriate to the period, but also compares the painting techniques with the technical art history literature. We also examine underdrawings and do technical imaging (x-ray and hyperspectral), to confirm that the entire work is period and artist appropriate. This includes not only the examination of pigments, but also the paint binding media, fillers, and driers and their interaction with each other. We also answer questions about bronzes (from antiquity and the Renaissance through the nineteenth century), to works in marble, enamel (on metal and porcelain), and ethnographic\archaeological objects. We also commonly answer questions that come up during the preview stage of the auction, whether it relates to the date of a furniture finish, an overglaze or underglaze enamel, or a paint pigment. In such cases, we typically work onsite and with a rapid turnaround time (depending on the techniques used) so that potential buyers can have the information that they request in time for a sale.
As the scientific vetting team for TEFAF New York, we are skilled at rapidly addressing questions about patina, methods of construction, state of preservation, and dates of production. Dr. Mass was also a speaker on forensic science in authentication at the 2017 Global Auction House Summit in Boston.