One of the interesting aspects of my work is to advise friends and clients on paintings. One friend buys through a well known gallery. It’s generally thought that this is an expensive way of building a collection. However it does have certain advantages in provenance and quality. You would be surprised how many copies are out there. Ken Howard ‘s paintings, which are popular, are being copied and sold by an artist signing the copy it as ‘KH’ and it took the intervention of the real Howard to stop the practice. A gallery will normally allow you to trade too, i.e. to buy back and acquire another. Against that their commission on a painting would be high although auction houses who charge both buyer and vendor are scarcely cheap.
Yesterday I was asked to advise on a painting of a seaside British town at the turn of the last century by Jacques Emile Blanche (1861-1942). Blanche was primarily a society portraitist. He painted these of Proust, Beardsley, Debussy and Colette. He knew Manet, Degas, Whistler and Sickert . He spent much time in England and was a member of the new English Art Club . He was also a prolific writer. I found the painting had charm in an impressionistic manner. Now I will have to do more research on the artist’s sales as my friend, like many an art lover, is anxious to buy a solid investment not a pup.