Fakes and Forgeries Seminar in Edinburgh - 22nd June, 2007


THE GOLDSMITHS’ COMPANY has played an integral part in the regulation of the silver trade throughout its long and august history. Today, the Assay Office London, in conjunction with the Antique Plate Committee, continues to be the country’s authoritative body for authenticating antique silver and in addition plays an important support and educational role.
Under this remit, the Assay Office London has for more than a decade organised a series of one day seminars on detecting fakes and forgeries in antique silver. The seminars are specifically for silver specialists, auctioneers, independent dealers and insurance valuers, as well as private collectors, and are designed to provide them with an invaluable opportunity to gain first-hand experience in the identification of fake and forged antique silver.
The next two seminars are scheduled to take place in June – the first on Friday June 15 at Goldsmiths’ Hall in London and the second on Friday June 22 at Goldsmiths’ Hall in Edinburgh.
Dr Robert Organ, Deputy Warden and Head of Assay Office London, said: “To take the Fakes and Forgeries seminar “on the road” is one of the Assay Office London’s new initiatives. Aside from Edinburgh, future seminars will be held in Cambridge and Dublin later in the year, and a more extensive travelling programme is also currently being planned”.
The seminars comprise a morning session which explores the definition of a fake, current legislation, the operation of the Antique Plate Committee and culminates with a perspective on detecting fakes from a renowned expert in the field of antique silver.
After lunch, there is a “hands-on” session, led by leading silver specialists, during which participants have the opportunity to examine genuine articles from the Goldsmiths’ Company collection and from the infamous Assay Office London’s Black Museum of Fakes. Among the fakes to be examined are common examples such as spoons converted into forks, and transposed marks and articles made from base metal. In addition, pieces that continue to perplex experts will be discussed to ensure that all levels of expertise benefit from the exercise. Questions such as how to identify an illegal cast duplicate of an authentic original and how does an expert decide on an objects authenticity and legality will all be addressed during the seminar. The seminar will be supported by various topical lectures and accompanying videos.
The price of attending a Fakes and Forgeries seminar is £80 per person (including lunch); students can attend at a discounted rate of £40.
Anyone interested in taking part in either the London or Edinburgh seminar should contact:
Christina Reti, Development Officer, Assay Office London,
Tel: 020 7606 8971, email: Christina.reti@assayofficelondon.co.uk.
Further information on forthcoming seminars and additional educational programmes can be found on the Goldsmiths’ Company’s website www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk.

Fakes and Forgeries Seminar London15 June, 2007: 10am to 4pm
Goldsmiths’ Hall, Foster Lane London, EC2V 6BN
Cost, including lunch: £80 per adult - £40 for students

Fakes and Forgeries Seminar Edinburgh22 June, 2007: 10am to 4pm
Goldsmiths’ Hall, 24 Broughton Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3RH
Cost, including lunch: £80 per adult - £40 for students

Lectures at the upcoming seminars include the following:

The history of Hallmarking and the Goldsmiths’ Company
Video hosted by Tim Wonnacott, daytime presenter of BBC’s ‘Bargain Hunt’
Regulating the silver trade: the application of the Hallmarking Act 1973
Dr. Robert Organ, Deputy Warden of the Assay Office LondonThe final word on fakes: the role of the Antique Plate Committee
Miss Christina Reti, Development Officer and Hallmark Specialist Assay Office LondonTest Methods: the use of scientific technology in authenticating silver plate
Mr. Tim Swann, Senior Assayer at the Assay Office London

Keynote Speech
London: 15 June, 2007
The Fake’s Progress
Mr. Alastair Dickenson
Leading antique silver dealer and participating specialist on the BBC’s ‘Antiques Roadshow’ for over 15 years; former Director of Asprey’s Antiques Department and Tessier on Bond Street; only member of the Antique Plate Committee to be re-elected for a second term; former council member of the BADA; founding member of the Guild of Art Scholars, Dealers and Collectors.

Edinburgh: 22 June, 2007
The Connoisseurship of Fakes and Forgeries
Mr. Tim Schroder
Freelance curator; Former Head of Christie’s Silver Department; Curator of the Gilbert Collection at Somerset House (1996-2000); Consultant Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum (2000-2006); member Court of Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and former member of the Antique Plate Committee. Publications include: ‘The National Trust Book of English Domestic Silver’ (London, 1988); ‘The Gilbert Collection of Gold and Silver’ (Los Angeles, 1988); ‘Gold and Silver at the Ashmolean Museum’ (forthcoming 2008).