Dating Antique Paintings

By Philip Mould - Art Expert On Bbc Antiques Roadshow Updated: Most people are quite clear what Old Masters are and where to find them: It is an understandable view, yet the wntique is slightly different. Such amtique can be found at antiques fairs, car-boot sales or even in your garage. Far more Old Masters exist than most of us imagine. There are thousands of them, works that have been mistakenly attributed to lesser artists or thought of as copies, or that have simply been ignored.

The real portrait of Neil Gwynn, left, and, antuque, before restoration work revealed the crucial exposed breast. With a little detective work — sometimes just with the naked eye — paintings thought to be dating antique paintings virtual unknowns can be found to be hugely significant. And, of course, their values transform accordingly. There are many ways in which the truth can be hidden. I have spent 25 years learning how to spot what might lie beneath the surface but anyone can learn the basic techniques of the art detective.

And it certainly repays a little datting and patience: One example is a 17th Century portrait I found at a country auction. When I first saw it, I just thought the subject was a strikingly beautiful woman dating antique paintings a low-cut dress, her left breast half-exposed. I liked the painting and bought it.

But I noticed something odd. Could it have dating antique paintings added later? Restoration work removed this drapery to reveal the picture as it had been originally: It was a significant find. I already knew the portrait was by an artist from the studio of Sir Peter Lely, the painter to the English Court. Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould are art detectives in BBC's series Fake Or Fortune? The fully exposed breast indicated that the woman was as close to the Monarchy as could be: A revealed breast, as Nell Gwynn proved in other portraits, was unwritten code for a Royal mistress.

This was the original version of the picture of Nell. My new series for BBC1 with Fiona Bruce uses some of these techniques. One of the main tricks is seeing through dirt. Removing layer after layer of discoloured varnish is the main way seemingly valueless works can be deemed historic finds. The late Labour MP Tony Banks bought a portrait of 18th Century statesman Henry Fox at auction at a knock-down price.

The washed-out face was in datkng terrible state; it was miscatalogued as a copy of a Joshua Reynolds. Dirt affects all paintings. Airborne, disabled dating sites reviews uk permeates oil paint, over time turning it more and more yellow. One effect is to make a sitter in a portrait look older and less attractive. In centuries past, there were clumsy attempts to remove dirt. The Irish used potatoes, the English urine mixed with ashes and lavender oil.

Not all dirt is natural, though. The main trick for spotting overpainting is to look at the cracks that occur naturally in oil paint over time. A way to test how an old painting might once have looked is to hold a white dating antique paintings of paper next to it. Some part of the picture would probably at some point have been white, say, a ruff on a collar.

Imagine that, or the whites of the eyes, as the same. Then you might be able to imagine the painting as it would have originally been. After dirt, the biggest problem is overpainting. I can confidently say that virtually every old work in every major gallery in the world has had some paint added to it, even if only at its natique. Later generations may not have liked a double chin, a very large nose or naked private parts. What you are trying to spot is where the cracks disappear. Newer paint will have fewer cracks, or none.

Also, if you know how the original artist painted, you will know their signature brush strokes. Look closely at a painting and you might see where those strokes change. It was in the 19th and early 20th Centuries that most overpainting was done, for reasons of prudery. Even artists of the calibre of Joshua Reynolds were commissioned to overpaint Old Masters. There is one tip I always give to those interested in knowing more about paintings: A sort of reverence in the art dating antique paintings stops us from doing this, but what lies beneath is important.

On the wood bars that form the stretcher dating antique paintings the back of the painting you can often see indicators as to who has owned a painting, how much it has sold for in the past and if and when it has been exhibited. For example, I sold a portrait of Charles II oaintings the Queen after I found some ancient writing scribbled on the back of it. It is harder to detect in the case of sculptures and ceramics.

You should also look at the nails in a picture frame when trying to spot a fake. They should be hand-made and genuinely rusty, rather datong dipped into a corrosive tank to make them look rusty. Fakes these days are often made in China. Such fakes can be detected by looking at the materials. Frames in Europe are made of carved wood or plaster, but in China of resin. European stretchers are distinguished by being made from oak or mahogany. The best art forgers build up paint layer by layer, as Titian and other Old Masters did.

But many forgers try to get away without it. Paintngs final piece of advice is to dating antique paintings your nose. New paintings actually smell different from old ones. Old paintings should have the faint reek of decrepitude. With fakes, sometimes you can almost smell the journey over from China. The views expressed in the contents above are those of dafing users and do dating antique paintings necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

How to spot an Old Master: The hidden masterpieces to be found in antiques fairs, car boot sales and garages By Philip Mould - Art Expert On Bbc Antiques Roadshow Updated: The hidden masterpieces to be found in antiques fairs, car boot sales and garages', 'url': RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next. Share this article Share.

How to spot an Old Master: The hidden masterpieces to be found in antiques fairs, car boot sales and garages

The Top 10 Mattresses for People with Back Problems. Here are the most common ones I get: Furthermore, when dating tests give negative results, dealers often tend to maintain that it is not the art work that is at fault but the scientific test result , or that the method is unknown. My advice would be to buy a piece of Art if you really like it or love it. The results are always plus or minus 40 years, which means that there is an year range of accuracy. This means that when thermoluminescence results say that a terracotta sculpture is years old, it is really between and years old. The most important way you can tell.. Most handmade pieces will show some irregularities to the surface such as minor nicks indicative of a hand plane being used to smooth out the wood, and this is sometimes even more evident on the back than on the finished front surfaces. Alabama Alaska Arizona British Columbia California Colorado Florida Panhandle Idaho Louisiana Mississippi Montana Nevada New Mexico Oklahoma Oregon Texas Utah Washington Wyoming Yukon Schedule exam.