Authenticity in the Art Market: A Comparative Study of Swiss, French and English Contract Law


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by Carolyn Olsburgh

Published Dec. 2005 | ISBN 9781903987179 |114 pages 

Fakes have always existed, but the very high prices which art and antiquities now command mean that we are witnessing ever greater numbers of fakes and forgeries in the major art markets. This book focuses on the contractual relationship between the buyer and seller and explains the circumstances in which the courts of three major art market countries (Switzerland, France and England) approach claims concerning inauthenticity.

About the book:

This book examines the scope of the seller’s duty, within each of the jurisdictions at issue, to inform the buyer of facts relevant to the issue of authenticity, together with the contractual force of any guarantees given by the seller. The author analyses the concept of mistake as it applies in each of the countries under consideration, and examines dol as a vitiating factor in Swiss and French law, and misrepresentation in English law. An account is given of the buyer’s remedies, including damages and setting the contract aside, and attention is paid to the problem posed for the mistaken buyer by limitation periods. The text also contains a number of useful appendices, including a table of limitation periods, and the relevant statutory provisions from Swiss, French and English law.

The author:

Carolyn Olsburgh is a practising lawyer, formerly with Lalive Attorneys-at-law in Geneva, Switzerland. She was admitted to the Geneva Bar in 2000 and obtained a Master of Law from the University of Cambridge.


Table of Cases
Table of Legislation
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Swiss Law
Chapter 3: French Law
Chapter 4: English Law
Chapter 5: Comparison and Evaluation of the Solutions
Chapter 6: Conclusion

Additional information

Book Type

eBook, Physical