SYS Blog

Damaged Art And A Detective Story- A Japanese American

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This just came in the lab this morning. A very nice portrait of a Japanese American from 1944 in oil. Why it would be trimmed of its edges in such an ugly manner can only be explained by the painting being pulled from its frame, cut unceremoniously off its stretcher bars then rolled up and […]

Owner Abandons Fake $30K Painting

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This just happened in our lab yesterday. A dealer came in the lab to have me look over a painting that I had, once upon a time ago, felt was a fake painting… or at least it wasn’t painted by the artist whose signature was showing. It was, in fact, an old painting, probably painted […]

Hanging nail gives away – $25,000.00 painting ripped.

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Look at this rip! Want to see some magic?! This rip, on the left, was kind-a ugly: It ripped when the nail gave way and it fell off the wall… and got uglier when the fibers frayed. So we turned it over and, under magnification, the fibers were realigned and rewoven. Then the ends of […]

$25,000 fell off the wall!

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Was it a weak hook, a frayed wire, a loose hanging eye screw? The weakest link is the one that will let go when things start to shake… and most of us live in parts of the country where we can be shaken up by earthquakes, hurricanes or tornadoes. In addition to hanging hardware in good condition, think about a shake wax.

This fake is so good that its scarry! And I did it!!!!

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Take a copy of an old print or certificate, have it copied in high fidelity and frame it in an old frame (recycled) and you will have something that will fool the eye. This idea may be excellent for the office, where you don’t want to risk having the original stolen yet you want to make a good impression. Or in the case of splitting up an inheritance, may appease the several people who want the same thing.

Remember the Movie Entrapment? This Grandma Hated It.

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Remember when Sean Connery cut the Rembrandt out of the frame, rolled it up, slid it into a mailing tube and mailed it out of the building? Well, this was one of those times when Hollywood imagination had a higher priority than well researched details! Let me tell you what happens when you do that […]

Central heating blowing on artwork

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Here’s a question I hear often: What is the right temperature for safely keeping a __________ (painting, book, papers)? Here’s the answer: The temperature is not as important as the FLUCTUATION of the temperature within a 24 hour time period. You don’t want to have the temperature change more than 20 degrees F. That’s why, […]

Painting of Russian Royalty – Smuggled Out

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Some of the most interesting art stories that I hear are the tales of smuggling artwork out of German or Russian occupied territories. Who knows if they are true when you hear them. But a pair of turn of the century portraits came in the lab a couple of days ago that look like the […]