But eBay is full of sci-fi memorabilia with certificates of authenticity. A uniform actually worn by Patrick Stewart on screen sells for more than one that was made for him but not worn, which sells for more than a copy made with the same materials. You might actually be able to wear the latter, but the first two would just be set out for display, like the Mona Lisa.
That's a game we can all play, and while I'm not really much into it, I am proud of my author-signed Klingon Dictionary for no good reason -- especially since I never even look at it. It's weird watching hundreds of millions of dollars exchange hands for trinkets, but when you're talking about multi-billionaires, it doesn't really surprise me that they would similarly want to own truly one-of-a-kind things with a poorly-defined "authenticity".
I’m not saying that it can’t be done - just that for the paintings that do sell for over a hundred million dollars, there usually really are people and organizations at the auctions who believe the paintings are worth that much.
The archaeology community has been dealing with this for years, and supplied this interesting read.
The art market, though, I assume is mostly money laundering.
Good luck perfectly replicating the printing press, laminating machines, holographic features and paper required for it.
— buy painting for $5 million
— have a museum value it at $15 million a few years later
— donate painting
— write off $15 million in taxes for a charitable contribution
Clearly the museums have an incentive to fudge the numbers for rich donors.
The incentive for the Museum to inflate the value of the work that gets donated to them is inflating the supposed value of their holdings. The incentive for the Donor is tax evasion.
OH WAIT I meant “tax avoidance.”
This is why you always see wings of museums named after rich folks.
The reason for the rapid increase in value is completely inscrutable to regulators or the IRS, so it is the perfect tool of international financial fraud.