The Collections

Curator's pick: Fakes and mistakes

Created: 05.07.11

Every museum collection contains objects of questionable authenticity. In some cases, they are deliberate fakes, in others it is simply a case of “mistaken identity” where the object has gotten separated from its provenance, or he family story attached to it has gotten confused over the years. These artefacts are actually incredibly important tools in teaching us how to look at an object and understand how it is meant to reflect the period and culture in which it was created. Most fakes are discovered because they simply do not “look right.” Either they have been made using techniques that are far too advanced for the period, or the inscription is clearly from a later date. Those objects where the story and history has gotten confused, give the opportunity for a bit of detective work unpicking stories and finding where they may have been tangled.


  • Name
  • Artist / Maker
  • Date made
  • ID
  • Metallwarenfabrik
    1975
    A1987-3L
    Ring dial

    Imitation ring dial for latitude 48° North. The ring is made of brass and has a fixed suspension bracket through which a leather thong is threaded. On the outer face is a date scale and an inscription: 'IO.H.S.THON ANNO 1721.'…