Forensics for Antiques

  • If you missed our Appraisal Show on Saturday, which was aired live on Facebook, please check out the video of it in the Archives section or on Youtube. We had some extraordinary items in for appraisal, one of which, a 6th century B.C. bronze Etruscan statue of the goddess Menvra, inspired this week's show on Forensics for Antiques. That statue could be authenticated by using a technique called thermoluminescence dating. You're probably more familiar with carbon 14 dating, but that requires working with an organic material, and the process can be invasive. For thermoluminescence to be effective, the item must have been buried for centuries, as this statue was. It is often used to date ancient pottery. What is new is that many forensic tests that were formally too expensive for most individuals to use are now available at much lower cost. I've had forensic tests performed on 2 of my antiques in the past year: a pigment test on a painting done by a Denver lab and a facial recognition analysis done on a 19th century photograph. Both tests were done for only a few hundred dollars. I'll describe how these and other forensic tests are done (by professionals in the field, not by antique dealers like me!) in this week's show, which is on at the usual time, this coming Sunday, December 17, 2017 at 5PM PST, 6PM MDT, 7PM CST, 8PM EST. Hope you can join us. Gary