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Discovery the many activities of the French certified Art experts

The Art expert

The professional and independent expert, whose field is one of the specialities of the art world, is the person who makes a profession of recognising objects, works of art, and of testifying to their value and authenticity. There are several categories of experts in France.

The assessor

The term "customs expert" does not exist. The assessor is called to sit on the customs conciliation and expertise commission. These assessors are appointed by interministerial order. The list is published in the French Official Journal.

The expert for auction houses

Being an expert for a voluntary public auction company means above all being part of an existing commercial structure and working in synergy with it, while remaining a service provider.

There is neither a contract nor a fixed job, unlike auction companies operating in the Anglo-Saxon mode, only a relationship of trust and privileged links between an auction house and its expert.

The role of the latter goes well beyond the framework of pure expertise to participate in the elaboration of catalogues, in the choice of photographs for a better presentation of the sale and in the setting up of the exhibition room.

Furthermore, the expert must be familiar with the different restoration techniques and their costs because, due to the increasingly frequent consultation of public sales websites on the Internet, he is the privileged contact and advisor of the potential buyer.

The Conseil des ventes volontaires is very vigilant about the obligations of experts: prohibition to sell or buy in the sale of which they have appraised the lots, accepting a reserve price according to the estimate, respecting the rules for drawing up descriptive sheets, insuring themselves for their professional civil liability, etc...

Because they are above all generalists, auctioneers greatly appreciate the help, knowledge and guarantees of the experts with whom they work. This is what they expect from the presence of an expert.

For more details, please refer to the dictionary of expertise drawn up by the Conseil des ventes volontaires.

The legal expert

Registration on a list of legal experts comes from a law of 29 June 1971 which stipulates: "any person registered on a list of legal experts is a legal expert".

Each year, a list is drawn up for the information of judges, this national list of judicial experts is drawn up by the office of the Court of Cassation as well as a list for each court of appeal drawn up by the General Assembly of the court of appeal. Consult here the list for the year 2021.

The judicial expert is an occasional collaborator of justice and cannot make this function his profession. The expert is appointed to provide specialist assistance and to help the judge in his decision. The expert is recognised by the courts in his speciality; he cannot be a generalist and embrace several specialities.

Legal expertise

A person recognised for his competence is appointed to examine a dispute or a particular point, usually technical, and gives his opinion. The role of the expert is to give a technical opinion but he does not judge the dispute as he must never make a legal assessment (Article 238 of the new Code of Civil Procedure).

The technical expert

Is a professional who has received specific and technical training to restore an art object according to the rules defined by the museums.

The other actors

The antique dealer

is a trader specialised in the purchase and sale of antique objects.

The insurer

is the person who guarantees risks through a contract.

The auctioneer

formerly known as the bailiff-auctioneer, is a ministerial officer who is assisted by a specialised expert to describe and evaluate the goods presented, he directs the bids and awards the lots to the highest bidder, called the winning bidder.

The bailiff

is the ministerial officer responsible for serving procedural documents and enforcing judgments.

The notary

is the ministerial public officer who draws up and authenticates deeds and contracts.

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