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Art Pane Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are the shipping costs included in the price ?

A: No. The shipping costs depend on too many details that we cannot know in advance, and since we want to charge only for the actual costs and not to use the shipment as an extra income source, we prefer to do it differently.

This is what we offer.

Once you have decided that a certain item interests you, and before you commit yourself to buying it, you can send us a message with your shipment preferences. This message may include the following items:

1. The address that you want the item to be sent to.
2. How quickly do you need this item?
3. Whether you want the shipment to be insured.
4. Any special requirements you may have about the packing materials and the packing method.

After receiving your message we will return to you with a shipment offer, based on the information you provided, and tailored, as best we can, to your requirements. This offer will specify an exact price. Then you can consider the deal as a whole and decide how to proceed.

We are quite flexible and we will consider seriously any reasonable suggestion or request. For example, if you want to take care of the whole shipment business yourself, we will just make sure that we have a reliable way to identify your agent, and help you handle it without any charge. If, on the other hand, you prefer us to take command of this matter, we will send you our plan and act accordingly once you approved of it.

Q: Are your prices fixed? Are your prices negotiable?   

A: The prices are fixed. We believe in fair prices and we do a careful market research before we decide upon the price of an item and publish it. We are not dealers. We don't have "stocks" that we have "to get rid of" and we don't buy in order to sell. Our family was blessed with several members who became - each one in his own unique way - an art collector. Every original painting, sculpture, antique rug and art book, in fact, every object you'll see here on these pages, was bought by one of our family which was a true art lover. What we find when we look at their private collections is something which we are very proud of. They had a remarkable sense of beauty. They never bought a thing just for its name or fame or its value as a financial investment. They always chose what they really liked, with a sharp eye and a very good taste. By now, some of these people have passed away or reached old age. Our aim is to make sure that the objects that meant so much to their owners will find their way to the right hands, meaning to the hands of people who themselves love and cherish art and beauty. Thus, since our aim is clear, we feel certain in our ability to name a very reasonable and fair price to each of the items we wish to offer.

Q: What about the provenance of the items?   

A: All of the paintings, sculptures, rugs, art books, and antiques that you find in Art Pane are being kept within our family for tens of years. A large number of our paintings, sculptures and objects of art had come directly from the artists. In some cases we know or knew the artists in person, and in others, it's the older generations of the family who had the personal contact with these artists. As you have probably noticed, we give the stories from behind the scenes on each piece, whenever it is possible. When you buy an item from Art Pane, the entry describing it, including the photos, doesn't go away. It stays there for you as a reference point. You can use it as you please, and if need be, refer others to it. We believe that in this way we make our small contribution to maintaining the provenance of the objects we love and you acquired.

Q: Can one actually sit on it, or is it just for the eye?  I saw a photo of a piano bench cabinet on your site (the one with the green colored upholstery), and I wondered: can one actually sit on it, or is it just for the eye?

A: This particular piano bench that you refer to is in good condition and will bear the weight of even an average over weighted person. But let us consider the question from a broader perspective.

Antiques were not born as such. Many of the things that today we call antiques were manufactured to be used on a daily basis. There are different opinions about this question among art collectors.

Some believe that their collection should be handled with extra caution. They remind us that aging causes both people and objects to become more fragile and vulnerable. They are horrified by the thought that a precious old chair or a vase will be left to the mercy of someone who is not aware of its value or is not careful and gentle enough in handling it. In general, they prefer to see their private collection behind glass windows, well protected from human carelessness and other hazards.

However, there is a second school of thought, which takes the opposite view. They remind us that touching an object, holding it, using it for the purpose it was made to serve, are important facets of experiencing it. There is something artificial, even unnatural, in staring at a chair for days without sitting on it. They also say that some of the furniture of the past, for example, gate leg tables were made to last, and they are willing to trust old chairs much more than new ones.

I cannot deny that both "camps" reason well, and in such a case one should seriously consider the middle way. Here are some hints. First, study carefully the condition of the object. How much can it stand? For example, if you want to sit on a chair do it gradually, and pay attention to what it tells you while you are conducting your little experiment. Secondly, as the owner of the object, you are completely entitled to dictate your terms of use: how frequently should it be used, by whom, with what limitations and qualifications, etc, etc. Do not hesitate to say a firm NO to people you do not trust, or to allow the use of an art object only when you are present and can supervise it. Finally, and most importantly, listen to your heart. If you feel too nervous when other people get too close to your favorite Majolica vase, lock it in your vitrine. If you feel that the glass of that same vitrine is separating you from your favorite porcelain bowl, open it and hold it in your hands for a short while. Live and let live.

Q: How accurate are your items photos? Do they really look like the actual (antique furniture item, original painting, oriental Baluch saddle bag, the front cover of an art book etc... )?

A: Presenting accurate photos of original paintings, antique furniture items and oriental rugs is a major challenge! We do not want anyone to be surprised or disappointed when opening a package with the piece they have ordered. Fortunately, most people tell us that the items they have received are more beautiful than they anticipated. Rugs for example - in most cases one could see delicate weaving details which often do not show up well in photos because they can only be observed in full daylight and most rich textile textures can rarely be shown adequately in Web photos. Likewise, the luster of oil colors of some paintings and the nuances of the charcoal pencil strokes of some drawings may not be as apparent on your computer's monitor as they are when examining the painting in vivo. The scale and aroma of an antique furniture piece, is difficult to convey in small photos, thus a 4 guest Victorian gate-leg tea table masterpiece can easily lose its impact on the screen and will look much bolder in your rooms than you expect.

Keep in mind that colors change when we view a carpet or a painting in different kinds of light - we photograph our items with equipment balanced for daylight conditions so they may look a little warmer under your indoor tungsten lights, for example, the reds and browns in an antique Yamut Chuval may appear a little stronger. We invest a lot of effort and resources in taking photos so that they represent our beautiful items as closely as possible and indeed they look accurate on any professionally calibrated LCD monitor. Unfortunately un-calibrated monitors can vary significantly. Colors are overly bright and saturated on some new flat screens, while on older monitors they are dull. Photos on any screen can look pale and washed out if there is a lot of light in your room. They can look different at night than during the day - and above all, I'm aware that people differ in their color preferences thus it is wise and welcomed to discuss specific pieces with me if you have questions about colors in the items you are considering.

Recently we have added a ZOOM option which is actually a super zoom feature that displays the item's photo in a resolution much higher that any existing standard on the Web. You are invited to use this super ZOOM feature and examine the item in a magnifying close up, much more powerful than just looking at the item. We hope this feature will help in best portraying each item we present and that together with the accurate condition description we send upon request, will satisfy your expectations. Remember, any piece we sell can be returned if it does not meet your expectations - this is not an eBay operation in which you can get stuck with pieces they do not want.

Have a New Question?  I love answering your questions. Feel free to send me your questions, comments, reminiscences and insights.


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