• Report: #906215

Complaint Review: Elinoff Gallery

  • Submitted: Tue, July 03, 2012
  • Updated: Mon, July 09, 2012

  • Reported By: aquaman — tucson Arizona USA
Elinoff Gallery
204 West Colorado Ave Teluride, Colorado United States of America

Elinoff Gallery Neal Elinoff Claim a signature of Chagall authentic but not provide certificate of authenticity accordingly Teluride, Colorado

*General Comment: Setting the Record Straight

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Say what?

*Consumer Comment: Yes I have just experienced the same type of dishonesty from this vendor

*Author of original report: COA issued by Gallery is suspect

*Author of original report: lets stick to the facts

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: president

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I bought four authentic Chagall Lithographs from this Art Dealer ($10,500 total) Neal said the signature were also authentic. The prints themselves are removed from a book and although legit are only worth about $800 each. Because Neal himself told me that the artist had signed the prints on a visit to New York I felt the inflated price Neal was asking was justified. However; when i received the prints which were shipped home for me, the certificates of authenticity simply stated that the signature were complimentry. It is common practice for the certificate of authenticity to clearly state " signed by the artist" not simply "complimentary". Mr Elinoff stated that because the prints were out of a publication of lithographs which were originally unsigned  it was therefore a complimentary signature. My point is: this certificate should say complementary signature by the artist, not simply a complimentary signature . A complimentary signature is too vague and certainly does not provide any authenticity to the signature. I can sign a Picasso and give you the print and say "a Picasso with a complimentary signature".

 Although Mr. Elinoff will provide me an exchange for something else in his gallery, he will not provide a refund . Frankly ,there is nothing in his gallery of any reasonable value to me other than those prints.   If he has the integrity to exchange the prints for the money paid i will post here the follow up. This posting expresses what occurred and my opinion thereof. I have not been able to find any similar prints  that are signed or any dealers to believe the signatures to be authentic.Now because these prints have a decorative complimentary signature they are worth even less than if they were unsigned.I will approach Mr Elinoff one last time this week in an attempt to get my money back and  will post my results. I am prepared to begin action with the local chamber of commerce, bbb and the state attorney generals office in Colorado. This is an extremely embarrassing conundrum for me and I can no longer display these Lithographs without some shame and expectation of ridicule .

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/03/2012 10:34 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Elinoff-Gallery/Teluride-Colorado-81435/Elinoff-Gallery-Neal-Elinoff-Claim-a-signature-of-Chagall-authentic-but-not-provide-certif-906215. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 General Comment

Setting the Record Straight

AUTHOR: ArtBuff - (France)

The ONLY authorized authenticators of a work of art by Marc Chagall are the members of the COMITE CHAGALL, their President is at the following address:

Mr Jean Louis PRATT President of Fondation Maeght 06570 Saint Paul FRANCE

their phone number is:

+33 4 93328163

Best wishes,



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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Say what?

AUTHOR: elinoff gallery - ()

"Bobby" essentially wrote that the owner of the business filed a bankruptcy over 3 years ago.

Yes.  It's true.  But the business did not file a bankruptcy, only one of it's owners did.  Donald Trump had to file a bankruptcy.  Lots of people have had to file to preserve company jobs and protect the interests of the creditors.  The courts make sure of that. 

It would be good to know what Mr. Bobby's complaint is, other than to disparage the business?  He made a purchase and returned demanding a refund when it was clear in our policy that he agreed to and signed off on that we would not refund his purchase and that it was a final sale. 

So then he threatened our staff, all captured on video.

And now he wrote a rip-off report.  We've been in business for 22 years, since 1991, with tens of thousands of satisfied clients but every once in awhile, someone blows their budget, blame us, then bad mouth us and call themselves "victims".  It's disgusting but we just have to put up with it sometimes. 

We run our business using the highest, ethical standards of the JVC and we're graduate gemologists.  If he has a legitimate beef other than "I just blew my budget and I want a refund" we're here to listen to him.

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#3 Consumer Comment

Yes I have just experienced the same type of dishonesty from this vendor

AUTHOR: Bobby - ()

 Sir I can truly feel your heart ache as I have just experienced the same type of ripoff.  the amount 10k.  I was most remiss in not reviewing this site nor looking up reviews on this establishment before making a purchase of this size.  I am thanking you though for standing up to this type of dishonesty.  I to was taken advantage of today 12-31-13 and have filed a report on this establishment especially after finding out that the owners and business have filed bankruptcy on 4 million dollars yes four million dollars and for those creditors I feel terrible for them ...ouch i know it hurts! know that I am so sorry for you guys. this bankruptcy is public recorded info and not heresey.  To all you other consumers out there that have been taken advantage of by this establishment and others that have wrong us consumers we must unite and prevent these types of individuals from taking adavantage of other trusting consumers.. My whole families Christmas Vacation and New Years celebration has been severly tarnished.  




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#4 Author of original report

COA issued by Gallery is suspect

AUTHOR: aquaman - (USA)

Ahh...it justs gets more interesting: The Certificate of Authenticity i received from Mr Elinof and his gallery seem to be not recognized in the Arts world . The certificate issued me is from The National Arts Guild and signed by George Kopel.  There is no information available anywhere on george Kopel or the National Art Guild where these certificates come from. No phone number. No address. No contact information!! And  to look it up on the internet and all you find is stories that back up my initial claim. This Art Dealer is dealing in misrepresentation and useless COA. Please do your own research before buying anything from this supposedly prestigious gallery in the resort town of Telluride Colorado. Don't get taken like i did!
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#5 Author of original report

lets stick to the facts

AUTHOR: aquaman - (USA)

I stated that i believe (and actually do know) the lithographs to be authentic. That was never the issue herein. My point is that the gallery owner clearly refuses to authenticate the signature .He stands to lose no money other than his profit made from me.
Over the years in my travels to other reputable gallerie and dealers i have seen these same (book edition) prints but always unsigned. Every one has told me that it is highly unlikely that these prints bear an authentic signature. And indeed even Mr. Elinoff now tells me it cannot be substantiated.
 As i was charged 5 times more for each print then what it sells for without the signature, it seems to me I should receive substanciation to the dealers claim. This he refuses and says tuff luck you vindictive poor boy !??
 All these years i have wanted to believe these Signatures were authentic; However, consistently over the years I have been told that it is not likely .  Now  I am embarrassed to display these prints. I am not looking to make a profit here I am only asking that  the gallery substantiate their claim or refund me the money paid in good faith, without interest.
 He claims I am vindictive and must be in financial hardship? I now believe he is trying to distract from the issue at hand:  either substantiate the signature on the authentic lithos cut out from an edition Chagall book or refund my purchase . I think maybe it is him whom is greedy and does not want to give up the extra $10,000 profit he made on unsigned prints!
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#6 REBUTTAL Owner of company


AUTHOR: elinoff gallery - (United States of America)

Dear Reader,

The complainer states that the Certificate of Authenticity is vaguely
worded.  He states his case, "My point is: this certificate should say
complementary signature by the artist, not simply a complimentary
signature" (sic)

The dictionary definition of signature is as follows:

1. One's name as written by oneself.
2. The act of signing one's name.  However, there is also a third definition, ie,
3. The name of a person or a mark or sign representing his name, marked by himself or by an authorized deputy

By deductive reasoning, the person who signed the piece is the person whose name is signed, except in the 3rd case, in which case it may be signed by an authorized deputy.

So the complainer is right.  There is no way to know.  The only evidence that the signature is authentic is by a signature expert, for which I am not.   However, that doesn't diminish the fact that the artwork is indeed, authentic, whether or not it was signed by the artist or his deputy.

He purchased these lithos in early 2003.  However, he approached us by telephone last week, June 28th, 2012. Waiting 9 years to lodge a complaint about whether the artist or his deputy signed an original litho is beyond reason.   I think there is something else going on. 

Many people are experiencing financial hardships at the moment.  Business is down, unemployment is up and the economy is in the toilet.  I think he wants a refund because he needs money and when we only offered
him a store credit, he got angry and vindictive.

He's enjoyed these authentic lithos for years and I hope that he continues to enjoy them for generations and not get hung up on the wording of the COA.  If there was no COA, it would not change the authenticity of the art, nor does having a COA validate the authenticity of the signature. 

It is authentic art done by the artist represented and the issue of whether or not the artist or his deputy signed the work cannot be confirmed or denied by the COA.
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