Egyptian Fakes: Masterpieces that Duped the Art World and the Experts Who Uncovered Themby Jean-Jacques Fiechter

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<ul><li><p>Egyptian Fakes: Masterpieces that Duped the Art World and the Experts Who UncoveredThem by Jean-Jacques FiechterReview by: Nicholas WernickJournal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 130, No. 3 (July-September 2010), p. 495Published by: American Oriental SocietyStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23044983 .Accessed: 16/06/2014 12:27</p><p>Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms &amp; Conditions of Use, available at .http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p><p> .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.</p><p> .</p><p>American Oriental Society is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Journal ofthe American Oriental Society.</p><p>http://www.jstor.org </p><p>This content downloaded from 195.34.79.20 on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 12:27:53 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=aoshttp://www.jstor.org/stable/23044983?origin=JSTOR-pdfhttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsphttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>Brief Reviews of Books 495 </p><p>Egyptian Fakes: Masterpieces that Duped the Art World </p><p>and the Experts Who Uncovered Them. By Jean </p><p>Jacques Fiechter. Paris: Flammarion, 2009. Pp. 252, illus. $45. </p><p>The subject of pharaonic art forgery is a very real </p><p>problem for modern museums and it is curious that more </p><p>books on the subject have not been published. It is fasci </p><p>nating to learn of the lengths that someone would go to </p><p>in order to sell their meretricious wares. Unfortunately, one gets the impression that the author was not pre </p><p>pared to set out a specific agenda for this volume, since </p><p>there is no particular structure for his analysis. Rather </p><p>than illustrating step-by-step how forgeries have been </p><p>exposed, we are left with historical anecdotes about the </p><p>forgeries themselves and the ensuing correspondence. Furthermore, Fiechter does not provide this work with </p><p>proper references: he illustrates correspondence but </p><p>does not state the source of his information. Accord </p><p>ingly, this book cannot be used for academic purposes. The book itself has a very peculiar layout: the pub </p><p>lisher has opted to have the print in black while all </p><p>images are composed in orange, sepia, or dark-brown </p><p>tones. The result is that some of the images appear dis </p><p>torted and not realistic, certainly a drawback in a book on forgeries. I applaud the extensive use of images, but </p><p>the publisher has had text "flow" around images in curi </p><p>ous ways that undermine the composition, leaving the </p><p>reader with the impression that this book is not about </p><p>a serious topic. The discussion of Borchardt's analysis of Egyptian </p><p>pieces in European collections (chap. 4) is fascinating, </p><p>demonstrating how the academic world responded to </p><p>his claims that some prized museum pieces were fakes. In particular, the exchange between Borchardt and the </p><p>outraged Adolphe Stoclet (a collector from Brussels) makes for very interesting reading. Fiechter also brings the forger Oxan Aslanian to the forefront of the history of pharaonic art forgery. He illustrates how Aslanian </p><p>was responsible for a large number of forgeries and how </p><p>they were produced. The discussion of the "Carnarvon </p><p>Bust" is particularly noteworthy in that Fiechter relays the discovery that this remarkable piece was, indeed, a fake. The section on modern techniques for forgery detection is also very interesting and Fiechter does an </p><p>commendable job in laying out Thomas Hoving's crite </p><p>ria for determining if a piece is genuine. All things considered, this volume makes for a good </p><p>read, but it cannot be utilized for any purpose other than </p><p>entertainment. </p><p>Nicholas Wernick </p><p>University of Liverpool </p><p>This content downloaded from 195.34.79.20 on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 12:27:53 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li></ul>

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