In the Webster’s Dictionary the word “provenance” is defined as “origin”. When dealing with the art world it is important to understand where a piece of art originates.

Provenance is simply all the documents that prove a piece of art is original.

Provenance speaks for the piece of art to prove its identity, especially in the case of brilliant forgeries. A provenance document may be simply an invoice for a purchase of a piece of art from the artist. It may be a certificate of authenticity. It may be a written document from an art authority speaking to a works authenticity. It may also be something written by the original artist proving the piece was created by that person.

Does provenance increase the value of a piece of artwork?

Works of art increase in value because of the artist’s career and the collectability of their art. Provenance is an added bonus that may increase the value of the piece of art only if the artist’s career is also worthy. Provenance equals proof.