In a public statement released out of England by the UK Fakes and Forgeries Department, it revealed that almost 40 percent of Britons had bankrolled an average of $190 or more into an antique or collectible purchase within the last year, but that a great number of them hadn't even bothered to check to ensure that their purchase was legitimate, despite the fact that approximately 70 percent claimed they thought there was a good chance that they were being taken, and that their purchases could potentially be fakes.
The report, along with some industry experts, went on to say that as much as half of the items being sold in stores and through online venues could be fake. Adding further fuel to the fire was the host of CNBC's Treasure Detectives, Curtis Dowling, who claimed that not only was it a big problem elsewhere, but that of the 16 items on his show one season, half turned out to be fake. "This is a pretty a good indicator of what's going on in the market," said Dowling.
However, it's not just the Brits and Reality TV hosts that are taking note of the increase in fakes. In France last month, a team of experts dismantled an early-1700s desk made by André-Charles Boulle in order to learn how, and precisely when it was made. By using a form of carbon dating, discovering its construction secrets, and the materials employed, they hope to use this information to help detect forgeries in the future - especially after a number of high-end copies were recently discovered circulating on the market. Some of France's most prominent galleries and experts have been implicated in these forgeries.
In addition to this, booming online bidding sales, live auctions and growing antique fairs are all contributing to the strong growth in the global decorative arts market, however this increased popularity of collecting with the buying public has also opened up a money-making opportunity for forgers of every stripe.
As with everything in life, it's best to prudent with your purchases, and be on the lookout for deals that are clearly just, "too good to be true..."
- A.I.A. Staff Writers