Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues: Lots of Fakes on the Market

Lots of Fakes on the Market


March 8, 2013

Paul Barford

Still on the subject of fakes, and the limitations of a collector merely ‘trusting the dealer’ in the case of ‘paperless’ objects, are also the subject of an interview published today with a dealer in Far Eastern art. According to dealer Michael Teller, founder of  TK Antiquities New York gallery, the majority of Chinese antiquities offered on the market are forgeries (‘QandA With Michael Teller, Founder of TK Asian Antiquities‘, Epoch Times March 7, 2013).

Michael Teller: The majority of antiques, particularly ancient material on offer today are forgeries, pastiches, and restructured artifacts. It is imperative to learn the appropriate scientific analytical techniques required to unveil these problems. And, importantly, the new collector must realize that virtually all artifacts require multiple disciplines for meaningful authentication. […]
Epoch Times: What advice do you give to someone hoping to sell an item from their collection?
Mr. Teller: Engaging in three procedures are of great benefit if one wishes to realize a high return in the sale of a collector’s objects: Publishing the artifacts, displaying at museums, and documentation of the authenticity of an object. […] the size of the market value and the value of the pieces will definitely be strongly affected by the artifact’s known history and verification of its authenticity

Of course the museums in the US will not be exhibiting, even temporarily, objects private collectors supply if they do not conform with the existing guidelines (“1970 rule”) applicable to such exhibitions. It beats me why collectors are still allowing sellers such as Dealer Dave to insist that they should be quite happy to buy from his fellows objects without any kind of paper trail determining where they came from and how they arrived on the market.

[It is my opinion that the Chinese coins imported by the ACCG for their test case without a London dealer fulfilling the requirements for legal import into the US under law in place at that time should be tested for authenticity, as I pointed out here a couple of years ago, the corrosion products visible in the photo they published of them look like nothing that is produced naturally in the soil. If they are shown by non-destructive analysis not to be antiquities, the whole ACCG case collapses.]  

Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues: Lots of Fakes on the Market.

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