Fakes and Forgeries in the Islamic Art Market: A Study of Two Problematic Pieces of Mina’i Ware

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


The art market has always attracted people who want to make something appear to be better, or to be something other, than what it actually is. This has not changed, and despite the proliferation of and access to price data, research and comparanda, there continue to be numerous examples of both fakes and forgeries circulating in the Islamic art market. This lecture focuses on the differences between the two categories, using two mina’i bowls as case studies that represent a fake on the one hand and a forgery on the other. One came onto the market over a century ago, was first published in 1921, and in private hands prior to entering a museum. The other appeared at auction for the first time in 2009 and its current whereabouts is unknown. Using a range of sources and methodologies, some of the characteristics of these different types of deceptive objects have become clear, and they can act as a basis for reassessing numerous other problematic examples of Islamic ceramic wares in both public and private collections around the world.
Period16 Feb 2024
Held atUniversity of Edinburgh
Degree of RecognitionInternational