Authentication of African Art is one of the main concerns of all African Art collectors in the world, and I have seen many diverging opinions on this subject among collectors, dealers and scholars. On the AfricanAntiques discussion group thousands of messages are related on this subject alone. Establishing authenticity for African art objects has been a concern of academics, museum curators, collectors and gallery dealers for more than fifty years.
Find inside more resources, museum databases and learn about the African Arts magazine that was published a long time ago on this subject, laboratories and related articles on the subject. Age, usage, beauty, marketability, provenance, and authenticity are all different concept to take in account to have a collection to be proud of.
Not everything that is sold at auction or showed in Museums and Universities is authentic, and not everyone telling he is an expert is right. I sometimes joke and tells” The best expert is the one doing less mistakes than the others”. With hundred of tribes it is impossible to know everything, but common sense and confirmation with previous provenances can make the difference.
Resource rolodex to authenticate African Art online and in the real world, with names and URL’s to the main laboratory and experts, and my private opinion about them, and some secrets to know f you have very valuable pieces in your possession and get free valuations :