Chihuly Glass Authentication

Appraising artwork, particularly Chihuly glass, is a way of confirming an artwork’s authenticity and assessing its replacement value. Modern Artifact Chihuly glass appraisals, for example, will give you an idea of the fair market value of your artwork. This can be useful for buyers and sellers alike.

Chihuly glass appraisals in particular can be a challenge. Chihuly’s overwhelming popularity has led to many look-alikes that may not be authentic, saturating and confusing the market. Additionally, the delicate nature of Chihuly glass makes ascertaining the condition of paramount concern for the overall valuation. Although many of the artist’s glass pieces are signed, there is a considerable number that are not, adding an additional challenge in Chihuly art appraisal.


How to Authenticate Chihuly Glass

Art authentication is the process of verifying a work is as marketed and was in fact created by the artist credited for the piece. Art authentication is the basis for buying and selling any art. As a gallery, buying and selling authentic art is the backbone of our reputation and something we take very seriously. Selling counterfeit artwork can disrupt the market, damage an artist’s legacy, and create hesitancy among buyers. A healthy, transparent art market is beneficial to all parties involved.

Authenticating Chihuly chandeliers, paintings, prints, and glass art can be daunting at first, but our experience and expertise has made us experts on the subject. Unfortunately, forgeries and misrepresentative information are prevalent in the art market, especially for high value and popular artists like Dale Chihuly. While we can often determine authenticity from photos and documentation alone, glass art can sometimes require in person viewing or handling to determine that the piece is consistent with the artist’s body of work.


Review the Certificate of Authenticity

Dale Chihuly Certificate of Authenticity

The best place to begin determining if Chihuly glass is authentic will be the associated documentation. Oftentimes, artwork may include a Certificate of Authenticity from the gallery where it was previously purchased. If you are not familiar with the gallery, agency, individual, or institution that issues the Certificate of Authenticity, it is worthwhile to reach out to them to verify the accuracy of the document.

Documentation, including certificates of authenticity, can be one way to authenticate Chihuly glass, but it is not the only way; there are several other methods we use to determine if Chihuly glass is authentic.


Check for Chihuly’s Signature on the Glass

Close up of Dale Chihuly’s signature on glass

Dale Chihuly signed much of his artwork, but not all. If the piece is signed, we can compare that signature to other inscribed signatures on Dale Chihuly glass to make sure it’s consistent. The signature can often be found on the base of the piece, but it’s important to check all areas for a signature, as they can sometimes be difficult to spot. When we are looking at a Dale Chihuly signature on glass, we want to make sure the style and handwriting is consistent and authentic.

Sometimes Chihuly also signs his artwork with edition information and/or the year. If the work is part of an edition, usually labeled with "CW" for Chihuly Workshop or "PP" for Portland Press, it’s important to verify that the year is consistent with the other pieces in the edition.


Verify the Provenance

Provenance is the historical record of a piece of art, including previous private sale or auction transactions, museum, and exhibition appearances, and can be useful in determining the authenticity of a work of art.

Often, provenance can include documentation that can verify the authenticity of a piece of art. Previous sales receipts, photos, letters, newspaper articles and inclusion in published works can also help verify the authenticity of a piece of art. There are many books by Dale Chihuly, some of which feature works that have been bought or sold on the secondary market.

Sometimes, provenance may be known and available on request but not have a written record. For example, if a chain of previous owners and collections is disclosed, it is worthwhile to verify the accuracy of those claims with the previous owners and/or institutions.

While a Certificate of Authenticity is the primary document to establish provenance, other documentation or information can also be useful in corroborating a piece of Chihuly art’s authenticity.


How to Get Chihuly Glass Authenticated

  • Gather Information
    Gather all relevant information and photos. Make a copy or take photos of certificate of authenticity or any other documentation. Write down any known information about the provenance of the piece including how and when it was acquired. Take photos of all piece from all angles, including close-ups of the signature if it is present. For Chihuly glass in particular, if you know the Title that can be relevant in comparing it to other pieces in the edition or finding additional documentation.
  • Find a Trusted Partner
    Reach out to a trusted source for authentication. While there are many third-party appraisal companies who can take a look at your work for a fee, you can reach out to Modern Artifact directly for help with the Chihuly authentication process: Contact Modern Artifact
  • Present Your Artwork - Virtually or In-Person
    Oftentimes, photos, documents, and other information can be sufficient to authenticate art. Some pieces; however, will require in-person viewing and handling to be certain. If you reach out to Modern Artifact with questions about Dale Chihuly glass authenticity, we will advise you after viewing your photos and information what the next steps will be. If needed, please be prepared to deliver or ship your artwork to us for in-person inspection.


Chihuly Glass Authentication FAQs

Why is it important to authenticate Chihuly glass?

It is only possible to realize the true value of Chihuly glass if it is verified as authentic. Without knowing if a work is authentic or not, it has no value.

Is all Chihuly glass signed?

Many Chihuly glass works are signed, but not all. Many unique works and large-scale works including chandeliers are not signed and must be evaluated for authenticity using other methods.

Can Chihuly art be sold without a certificate of authenticity?

A certificate of authenticity can be helpful when selling Chihuly glass, but it is absolutely not mandatory. We have bought and evaluated hundreds of pieces of Chihuly glass without COAs that we’ve assessed as authentic and sold with a COA issues from our gallery.

Where can I get my Chihuly art authenticated?

You have many options to authenticate Chihuly glass, but the best way is to reach out to us directly: Contact Modern Artifact We can walk you through every step of the process!


Work with Modern Artifact for all your authentication needs

Authenticating Chihuly artwork doesn’t have to be a daunting process. I hope this guide has provided you with more information on the process of Chihuly authentication. We are here to help with everything from signature evaluations to Chihuly chandelier authentication. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for assistance: Contact Modern Artifact


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