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How to spot a fake: Pottery

Monday, 1 Apr 2013 | 1:59 PM ET
How to Spot a Fake: Pottery
Thursday, 28 Mar 2013 | 12:00 AM ET
There are a lot of forgeries out there and it can be very difficult to tell the difference between what's real and what isn't. The chances of finding something that is ancient are about as good as finding a needle in a haystack, but if found, it can be worth a fortune. Curtis Dowling, from CNBC's "Treasure Detectives," explains what you can do to help determine whether or not a piece of pottery is a fake.

An ancient craft, pottery encompasses earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. But with forgeries of all types being continually cranked out, finding an authentic item involves an arduous search.

It is not uncommon for pieces to sell for high prices at auction. And while precious works can even bring in millions, the trouble is determining whether your discovery is truly old and valuable, or produced by a modern-day forger (or is simply the output of an amateur potter).

In this exclusive video clip, "Treasure Detectives" host Curtis Dowling addresses how to determine if a piece of pottery is genuine and a good investment.

According to Dowling, you can learn to do it yourself. Someone with knowledge of the craft is best prepared to examine an item for flaws and signs of forgery, he said, and you're better off taking a one-hour pottery class than studying for three months online.

This goes for other collectibles, whether books, manuscripts or furniture. "Whatever your subject, learn it inside out," Dowling said.

Considering that whole towns in China are devoted to turning out pottery forgeries, potential collectors have got their work cut out.


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Contact Treasure Detectives

  • Do you have an item that you want the Treasure Detectives to investigate? Contact us at TreasureDetectivesTV@gmail.com

Meet the Team

  • Curtis has over 20 years' experience in fine arts and antiques and he hates fakes! He is on a mission to help people discover the truth and put the fakers and forgers out of business.

  • Catherine Knebel is Curtis Dowling's research assistant and a treasure detective with an auctioneer's background.

  • Andy is the treasure detective with people skills. People like Andy and he can get them to talk and give him valuable information.