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Arts, Antiques and Valuable Items

A few simple measures can help your chances of recovering lost or stolen art and antiques.

burglarTake photographs of your valuables and store them somewhere safe. Take a variety of shots; close-up, long distance and, if possible:

  • Show the object's size and dimensions by placing a ruler next to small items, or write down the measurements.
  • Show distinguishing marks, repair marks or hallmarks.
  • Show the back and front of paintings.
  • Don't use flash if you can help it, good natural daylight is best. If you have to use a flash, try to avoid reflections.

Make a record of your objects and try to keep your description to the "Object ID" format recognised throughout the art world. This should include:

  • Type of object: painting, sculpture, clock, watch.
  • Materials and techniques: brass, wood, oil, carved, cast, etched.
  • Measurements: size and weight.
  • Inscriptions and markings: signature, dedication, title, and purity mark.
  • Distinguishing features: damage, repairs, manufacturing defects.
  • Title: name of painting or sculpture.
  • Subject: what is pictured or represented.
  • Maker: an individual, company or artistic group.
  • Date of period of the maker or artist: art deco, contemporary etc.

Keep this documentation secure. Do not keep it in anything that might be a target for thieves. Secure physical documents in a safe or store electronic copies of documents and photographs online.

Antiques Property Marking and Registration is another method of protecting your antiques.

For information on Heritage Crime, please read the following:  Heritage Crime [278KB] .