Antiques column: Behind every lot there’s a story waiting to be told.

William Wilson
William Wilson

The word provenance is often talked about in the world of antiques but what exactly does it mean?

Provenance derives from the French verb provenir, meaning ‘to come from’, it is usually a history of ownership and the proof of authenticity of an item.

In its most basic use it establishes that the vendor actually is the rightful owner of the piece and that the buyer will obtain good title to it in consideration for paying the agreed price. In terms of antiques, it goes way beyond that, helping to build up a picture and story behind the lot and thus influencing its valuation.

Read William’s full column in next week’s (22 January) people’s paper.