Forensic Science for Antiques

Revealing art secrets—and exposing forgeries

A horse touted as being from the Tang dynasty, but with only one genuine part in the unglazed underside. (Photo courtesy Oxford Authentication)

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"The only way to reduce the risk of deceptive results," says Dr. Stoneham, "is to use several techniques in conjunction, to examine different aspects of the object."

And don't forget that old standby—the individual.

"The human element comes in interpreting the results of the tests," says Dr. Penny. "To say that all these methods are available doesn't mean that all are being applied. Sometimes the overwhelming evidence is such that this is not needed."


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