YOUR COLLECTIONS HAVE A STORY TO TELL.
Provenance research is about reconstructing the biography of your collection, whatever its nature. Our task, and our passion, is to uncover these stories and tell them to you.
Whether in literature or music, the reception of a piece depends on how well we know it. For example, we appreciate a poem more when we recognize its genre and meter: the same principle can be applied to the works, objects and natural specimens in your collection. Today, you can appreciate it more by knowing its life history, from the origins of all elements that make it up to the present day, as well as the history of its former owners.
Provenance research thus offers you the possibility to develop a thorough knowledge of your collection and, if you wich, to share this knowledge with an audience.
We see provenance research as an applied science connecting aesthetics and responsibility.
The biography of an object of art, ethnographic object or natural specimen can also reveal a dark chapter in history.
Indeed, it is estimated that about 20 percent of all works of art in Europe made before 1945 were looted by the National Socialist regime between 1933 and 1945. In the case of non-European or naturel history collections acquired during the colonial period, it is increasingly necessary to investigate their origin and acquisition in order to ascertain whether there are any illegitimate translocation – for example, through looting or illegal art trafficking, for example, from war zone. As a result, provenance research also acquires a political dimension
The international discussions around these issues in recent years have contributed to a growing sense of insecurity among private collectors as well as museums and cultural institutions. One of our fundamental tasks is to take this uncertainty seriously and work together to find an appropriate solution by mutual agreement.
We attach great importance to a personal relationship with our clients and offer support and advice on any question they may have, as part of a service based on trust.
We can research and document consequences of wrongful property seizures, such as confiscations, forced sales and sales under duress of property between 1933 and 1945, and possible acquisitions in colonial contexts of your works, ethnographic objects and natural specimens. If the suspicions are confirmed, we accompagny and support you in all administrative and legal procedures with the aim of finding a suitable, fair and just solution together.
Thanks to our many years of international and interdisciplinary expertise, we can offer you comprehensive advice and support in all aspects of provenance research. Our work therefore adds both material and immaterial value to your collections.