When it comes to pawning an items, proving the authenticity or provenance is vital to justify the value of the piece you’re trying to sell. Provenance is the proof you provide to show that your item is genuine, it’s been owned by a certain person, or institution, or has been sold for a certain price. For anyone looking to buy a luxury or high-end item, it will be crucial that the seller can produce provenance in order to make a sale. For anyone wishing to pawn an item, it will be necessary to provide provenance so that the person or business looking to sell your item can justify its price. Below we’ve created a beginner’s guide to provenance.
What is provenance?
The word itself comes from the French ‘provenir’ – to come from – and was initially used to refer to works of art. Provenance can include evidence of an item’s previous history, such as its previous owners, the place it was kept or discovered, and any previous amounts it was sold or bought for. Providing provenance is the documentation of the item’s history, to prove its authentic value.
Provenance can add to the value of an item, consider a work of art that has genuine proof it is an original. From proof of the artists themselves, to evidence of where the painting has travelled to and been stored, can greatly enhance the cost of the painting as it goes for sale.
What forms of provenance are there?
Provenance can come in several different forms, depending on the object you’re looking to sell. If your item is a painting or work of art, you could be looking at a certificate of authenticity to provide proof that the artwork is an original. If your item is a book, provenance is often created by examining the book directly. Experts will look at the bindings within the book, and inscriptions to determine its age and likely authenticity.
Another way to increase the provenance of your item is to provide a photograph of the item with the original creator (artists or author) or owner. If you have an image of the item with its original owner, usually a famous person such as a politician, author, musician, artist, sportsperson or actor, it often increases the value of the item. Items linked to celebrities, such as jewellery, clothing, furniture or memorabilia from films and their careers can have provenance by producing a receipt, proof of sale at auction or proof of ownership from the celebrity themselves.
Why is it important?
As the seller or person looking to pawn an item, it is your responsibility to gather as much provenance on your item as possible. It is in your interest to do so, as high end, luxury suppliers of pawned goods will require evidence of provenance before accepting your item, to ensure their reputation is maintained when selling your item onto their customers. It is also in your interests to ensure you gather as much provenance as possible on your item, as the stronger the evidence is, the higher the likely value of the item you’re looking to sell.
At Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive, we deal exclusively with clients who have items from the very highest end of the market. We’re based in Los Angeles and have some of the most coveted luxury and sought after memorabilia items on the market for sale. Our fan base is international, with people flocking to us each year for the most coveted items. We are confident with our reputation and following we will be able to sell your item on for a favourable price. If you want to pawn an authentic high-end item, that has strong provenance, please get in touch with us today.