Well, sometimes you can't and you need a professional appraiser to help you out. But that can cost money. Sometimes you can tell the difference by looking for clues.
For instance. I was very excited to come across 2 of these fun J. Roybal oil paintings
Yes, I have 2 of these. They look very much like originals.
The paint is raised and textured. If they are original, I could get about $800 for the smaller one and about $2000 for the larger one.
If they aren't original, I can still make some money off of them. Maybe $60-$100, so still not bad one way or the other. I researched the artist and she (yes, its a "She") was a popular artist in the 50s and was also popular to reproduce. They can take a print of the canvas and paint over it to create a more original type of appearance. Some of the other reasons I believe that these are reproductions is by checking out the back.
The boards are clean and newish in appearance, the paint line is clean and crisp. So I believe these are not originals. And that is okay and long as you sell them as reproductions, NOT originals. Its still a great way to have fun colorful mid century art in your house on a more affordable budget.
Now this is an example of another piece of art, by J. Faguet. Also a mid century artist from the 1950s-1960s
Also textured, so how do I know if this is a reproduction or an original? If its an original, its worth about $800, if its a reproduction, its worth about $100. Again, I look for clues.
The back of the frame appears to have age, the paint on the canvas is sloppy, no clean edges. There are also tags with dates and the framework itself also have age and tags. So this is an original. I am pretty certain. How will my buyers know that they will not be getting scammed? I have to get it authenticated and certified as an original. I don't have to, but its the right thing to do if I want to be fair to a potential buyer.
Again it is okay to purchase and sell reproduction art. Just be honest to a customer. You could lose your validity, loyalty and good reputation AND you could lose your business. If in doubt, always consult with an expert. Or wait in line for 20 hours at Antiques Roadshow. Be prepared to be made fool.
For more fun facts follow my blog. For insight to more goodies, follow me on Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and Twitter.
To shop some cool shit, check out my Etsy shops (click on the side bars to the right)
Until next time.......