In the justice system for art, artwork is represented by two separate yet equally important divisions: the sellers/buyers, who collect and acquire and the auction houses/art dealers, who facilitate transactions. Because art world is riddled with mistakes, the DOCANTIC PATROL investigates offenders of fair price valuation. These are our stories, and yours.
The DOCANTIC PATROL is a sort of whistleblower. Its mission is not to tarnish the reputation of the dealers, experts, or auctioneers mentioned in the reports, but rather to inform the art community of the truth and expose those whose actions are detrimental to the integrity of the art market.
Have you spotted a misattributed 20th Century piece of furniture or work of art in an upcoming, current or past auction, sale, or dealer showroom? Share your anonymous tip with the DOCANTIC PATROL. We’ll get the item identified correctly and verified with original documentation from our expansive archival database, and then publish it on our Patrol site,. It’s your civic duty to the art community, and ours.
DOCANTIC PATROL’s mission is to catch and apprehend mispriced, misdated or misattributed artworks and to restore their legacy. Partnered together, we can read the art market of all mistakes and fallacies once and for good. For us all.
~ When DOCANTIC PATROL classifies a case with ‘Poor Literature’ we charge the auction house with failing to provide complete literature research and substantial supporting evidence. Therefore they have not defended the seller’s best interest! Works of art are like celebrities: the more popular they are, the more bankable! For example, the appearance of an Art Deco console table in several well-known magazines and reference books will highly affect its value, and subsequent sale price. DOCANTIC PATROL protects that fair valuation.
~ Above all, a work of art holds its place in history… long before it becomes a collector’s investment asset, a social recognition tool or a favored decor item. Correct dating is critical on every case. Therefore, it should raise some red flags if you uncover an alleged 1750’s plastic chair or a new 2015 Warhol etching! In our procedures, the DOCANTIC PATROL stamp of ‘Wrong Date’ signals a significant date violation associated with a work of art. This misdemeanor can devalue or over-value misdated items put out on the market. Very few date errors get caught red-handed. But, the DOCANTIC records won’t let this happen to you, or to an item you value!
~ At auction, Giacometti’s "Walking Man" hammered for $104M in 2010 but would have sold for much less if the auction house had advertised it as "Walking Man from Unknown Artist". Our ‘Lack of Artist’ label exposes those auctioneers who do half-baked art jobs, so we can assure that each piece of furniture or art will sell for the amount it deserves. Our meticulous, coffee-crazed detective team researches DOCANTIC’s many (MANY) period catalogs to apprehend misidentified works and help art market players put a name on any 20th Century piece of furniture or art. We identify the suspects.
~ A file we classify as ‘Wrong Artist’ divulges the total culpability a supposed art expert! We consider it a felony to misattribute a work! “In the style of,” “in the manner of,” “attributed to”…etc., or however a less-informed auctioneer or dealer puts it. We believe at DOCANTIC that these rhetorical convolutions deceive and mislead buyers. They allow the seller to protect his back, yet still drop some names. It’s criminal! If the work is real, it reads “by the artist (name).” Period. Today, unfortunately, misattributions for 20th Century furniture abound on the art market. Good, that only gives our investigators at DOCANTIC PATROL more ammunition to shoot with!