Lecture at the Volkmann-Treffen 2012, Berlin

Half of the fun would go out of carpet collecting if there were no fakes or forgeries or at least no wrongly attributed pieces… (Kurt Erdmann)

Tuduc’s forgeries have fooled museum curators, auction experts, great collectors or carpet scholars of the calibre of James F. Ballard, M.S. Dimand, Kurt Erdmann, Joseph V. McMullan, Ulrich Schürmann.   These rugs are featured in private or museum collections of Europe and America, including Museum for Islamic Art of Berlin, Kunst und Gewerbe Museum, Hamburg, Victoria & Albert Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Textile Museum of Canada, Nickle Arts Museum of Calgary, Bruckenthal Museum, Sibiu, National Museum of Art, Bucharest, Peleş Castle Museum. It is not infrequent to discover these fakes in reputable private collections. Many have been published as authentic and contaminated the rug-literature.

Interestingly, Tuduc rugs, rather than being dismissed as the work of a charlatan, have become collectible in their own right, and although not valued on the same scale as the prototypes, they have increasing value as objects of historical interest.

Stefano Ionescu will talk on Tuduc, the most famous rug forger of the 20th century, presenting about 100 slides on significant facts about Tuduc and his rugs.  Are they fakes? Are they just copies? How to unmask a fake? When should a fake be attributed to Tuduc? What is their value?

The presentation is based on a 10 years research covering the main carpet museums, auction houses, dealers and private collections in America, Europe and Romania together with field work in Bucharest, Athens, Budapest, London, NY, Denver, Toronto, Calgary, California, etc.

A similar talk was delivered earlier this year at the De Young Museum during the Mini-Simposium: Museum Fakes, Forgeries and the Quest for Authenticity followed by a workshop at Peter Pap Gallery in San Francisco.

The material was assembled in the fourth edition of the publication Handbook of Fakes by Tuduc (1156 p., which will be available at the meeting). Please  contact stefano_ionescu@yahoo.it to reserve a copy of the Handbook.

The talk will end with an interactive design-guess session.