From An Antique Tibetan Thangka To A Chinese Bronze Statue: How To Spot a Fake Artifact?

Being passionate about collecting antiques is great, but you need to be aware of the ways in which you can tell if it is a fake. Though it is not always possible to seek expert opinion, it is certainly possible for you to be vigilant and extra analytical while buying an antique Chinese bronze statue, an ancient metal vase, an antique Tibetan Thangka etc. But if you allow random ‘antiques’ into your collection, you’d be doing so to your detriment. This is because those pieces wouldn’t be antique at all and naturally, of no value.

A few basic tips to avoid making a wrong purchase have been listed here.

l Look at the artifact very closely — For this to work right, you have to do your homework about the kind of artifact you are about to buy. The antiques from a particular era and from a particular region would be marked by certain unmistakable traits which may skip your attention if you are utterly unaware. The very appearance of an antique could be clue enough to arise suspicions about its authenticity.

l Ensure that it is made of the material it promises — You need to touch and feel the antique to ensure that it is made of the kind of metal that it seems to be. Dealers may tell you that a statue is made of bronze but only lifting it and feeling its surface would give you the confirmation.

l Listen to the artifact! — The sounds produced by antiques speak volumes about their traits, age and origin. Beat it or tap it lightly to observe what kind of sound it produces. You’d be surprised to hear a metal object produce a ‘thud’ sound instead of the expected clinking or ringing vibes. That happens when softer materials are painted to resemble a certain metal.

l Smell the surface — If a Tibetan painting is fresh, you would catch it by its smell because authentic Thangkas would never have any trace of the paint that was used on them so many years ago. Similarly, you should carefully inspect the surfaces of metal antiques to find traces of fresh chemicals and fumes that tend to linger around them. It is also possible that the smells are of cleaning agents or polishes, but it is always better to be careful and aware of the differences between such fumes and the smells of fresh paint.

Author’s bio: The author is a blogger. This article talks about identifying a fake artifact such as an antique Tibetan Thangka or Chinese statue.Click here

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