Buyer Beware: Avoiding Pitfalls When Buying Fine Art

5 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2023

See all articles by Gerard Ng

Gerard Ng

Legal Ink

Vincent Ooi

Singapore Management University - Yong Pung How School of Law; Singapore Management University - Centre for AI & Data Governance

Date Written: November 12, 2022

Abstract

Our article introduces the reader to crucial concepts such as provenance, authenticity and ownership of fine art. It explains how one can check the established art databases and registers to conduct due diligence searches.

We also explain the importance of a written contract for both buyers and sellers. The current common practice of transacting without a written contract can lead to considerable difficulties if issues with the artwork are discovered in the future.

At the minimum, a contract should make it clear that the seller has the full responsibility for the accuracy of the provenance, particularly in cases where the artwork has an incomplete ownership history. Different considerations may also apply depending on whether the artwork is an Old Master, modern art or even an NFT.

The article concludes with a reminder not to chase trends and instead to buy artworks that one would enjoy looking at and living with.

Keywords: Art Law, Singapore Law

Suggested Citation

Ng, Gerard and Ooi, Vincent, Buyer Beware: Avoiding Pitfalls When Buying Fine Art (November 12, 2022). The Business Times, 12 November 2022, Singapore Management University School of Law Research Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4395759 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4395759

Gerard Ng

Legal Ink

Vincent Ooi (Contact Author)

Singapore Management University - Yong Pung How School of Law ( email )

55 Armenian Street
Singapore, 179943
Singapore

HOME PAGE: http://vincentooi.com

Singapore Management University - Centre for AI & Data Governance ( email )

55 Armenian Street
Singapore
Singapore

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Downloads
39
Abstract Views
236
PlumX Metrics