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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Faked ageing of artefacts


PhilB

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After recent threads on items of dubious provenance, I have been tempted to try some artificial ageing of simulated artefacts. The idea was that a photo before and after treatment would give members a guide to what can be achieved by various methods, and thus arm them against fakes. The other side of the coin is that it might give aid to those who wish to fake. Any views? Phil B.

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Phil,

Either you can artificially age an object and it looks correct, then there is no differance to the original period object and you cant use this as a suitable tell tale.

If you obtain a faked object and it looks old but not right then you can just post pics of an original and the fake item.

If you did what you planed I dont think you would succeed in anything other than showing if you can fake it like a faker or not. It would be a Phil B version of a fake. (edited for clarity)

make sense? (I'm not sure :) )

Regards

Leigh

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When I started to collect US Civil War items, I bought several repro buckles, buttons ect. I aged them every way I could think of and found several ways through other sorces.. I am convinced that unless a man is a "Master Forger" that you can tell (in most cases) if an item has been aged.. If you buy of the internet it is very hard to tell, however if you hold it in your hand there are things you can do. This may sound gross, however if you put your tounge against any metal that has been aged.. there will be a bitter, acid type taste.. It dosen't matter how long ago the aging to place you can not get rid of the acid.. also crap builds up over the years, most aged items have a thin layer of fake stuff on them. The best thing to do is to buy an original recovered item...pay the money..then when you find an item that you like compair them.

Dean

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Apparently, most metallic repros are covered in natural yoghurt and buried in the garden.

When they're flogged as genuine, they stand out like the yoghurt and mud covered travesties that they are.

As far as badges go, it's difficult to replicate wear (or 'bull'), the patina of age, the quality of materials and workmanship, and the signs that the item spent time in the trenches or wherever.

Once again, when you've handled enough good and bad, the bad are blatantly bad.

And the good are worthy of your hard-earned cash.

Take care.

Graeme

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I love things like that graeme, it's like when i made the furniture and people used to say that you recreate woodworm with a four ten shotgun.

If you want to recreate the smoothing effect of wear on metal then you need a slow turning tumble type dryer filled with fine powder which will smooth it down alright. These are actually used in the brass industry for polishing castings like taps etc.

You will then need something to carry the process on, a sheepskin mop in a drill. but this will put minute scratches all going in the same direction so you have to finish by hand, off course the distressing could be acheived by hitting it lightly in some gravel and then giving it a polish with the mop again. This will put dents and scratches on it and the polishing mop will smooth the raised areas around the wounds on the metal

By this time you have a smoothed polished distressed piece of metal, put mineral oil and grime and any old crap on it and heat it up several times so this stuff burns on the metal and then rub it off again and repeat, have a look through a magnifying glass and see how the grime has got into the minute dents and scratches you have put on, and carry on untill you are satisfied, then leave outside for a few weeks in the sun untill all trace of smell has gone and the natural bacteria has gone to work.

It can be overdone of course and practice makes perfect--- you wont fool everybody but thats not the idea, and the item has to be worth a bit.

Paper-------dirty rain water, a mist gun, and ultra-violet light, obvious really together with a bit of distressing and a hot air gun for the edges being very carefull only to warm the grime in on the edge of the paper, the bateria in the dirty rain water will age and discolour the paper as will the ultra-violet light, again it can be over done and practice makes perfect, but through a magnifying glass an expert can see the grain of the paper what the pulp was made of, so you would have to get that right together with the texture and thickness of the paper otherwise you would be wasting your time,

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Very interesting! How in blazes did you learn to do all this Nigel? Trial and error or passed on from some master forger?

Rgds

Tim D

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Sounds like all the experimentation has been done already! It`s just the before and after shots we haven`t seen. :( Phil B

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Some of it i have done and other stuff, and i have had a lot to do with chemicals heat treatment and when i first left school i was in Engineering.

There is other stuff aswell, but i forgot to tell you, that you can buy those small tumblers they used to used them for polishing semi precious stones, and depending on what powder you put in the more or less abrasive the qualities.

Metal and paper are the easiest things to age/wear, but you have to start off with things correct at the beginning----------eg----you cant get a piece of A4 paper and try and pass it as a 16th century parchment, you would have to make the paper from the right materials used then using the same manufacturing process's etc, then you can start to age it

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on the subject of ageing-faking there a couple of badges (from the same person) currently on ebay for a certain regiment that is close to my heart, a standard WW1 issue and a pre TF volunteer batt cap badge. both show similiar unusual and excessive wear to one or two parts of the badge <_<

maybe the original wearer wore them while operating a polishing machine? B)

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Goodness, Nigel. Can you do fragments of the True Cross as well?

Gwyn

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Why would anyone want to "age" a badge, medal, or tag unless of course one wished to sell it on as the real mccoy. One wouldn't get the same buzz from owning such an item knowing that is was not genuine.

Robbie :blink:

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Thats not exactly true Robbie, i started off doing that with furniture selling at antique fairs supposidly as antique, but soon found out and here's the lesson if anyone can see between the lines-----people just wanted to own something that looked the part, they werent bothered if it was an actual antique, cause truth be known their arent that many genuine antiques, and you probably couldnt afford them anyway, but people wanted something that looked the part and did the job and so began the birth of the repro-pine furniture market around 1988.

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Hi Nigel,

I didn't mean my comments to be true or false. I was just stating my opinion.

For me, if it's not real why bother?

Robbie :blink:

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But thats what i meant Robbie, what i found out was that most people arent bothered, they just want to look the part----------look how fake watches etc still sell even though people know they are fake-------so if you cant have the real mcoy then most people will have the next best thing and you will make more money from the next best thing because you can repeat your sales. When you have the real mcoy you can only sell it once.

Dont worry about telling me off or having a dig, i have heard it all before. I once became friends with one woman who had bought an antique bed off someone else and i knew it wasnt an antique, after knowing her for a while my consience got the better of me and i told her the truth-----she through me out of the house in a four letter onslaught and hasnt spoke to me since :blink::D

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I thought most women made a career out of making things appear what they aren`t? :D Phil B

PS Not you Robbie, I`m sure your attractions need no enhancement!

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ooohhh...you'll keep Phil.

I can't afford Botox not on my salary.

Robbie :D

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Thats not exactly true Robbie, i started off doing that with furniture selling at antique fairs supposidly as antique, but soon found out and here's the lesson if anyone can see between the lines-----people just wanted to own something that looked the part, they werent bothered if it was an actual antique, cause truth be known their arent that many genuine antiques, and you probably couldnt afford them anyway, but people wanted something that looked the part and did the job and so began the birth of the repro-pine furniture market around 1988.

How very true Nigel. Newar upon Trent is the repro capital of pine furniture and export shiploads weekly to the States based upon the very surmise you have indicated. It's marketting not antiques.

It is very easy to age metal if you understand what happens to metal in certain environments. Rain water essentially is dilute carbonic acid , chalk is alkaili, metal reacts with both; say no more ;)

Waht you buy is a visual surface not the substance of an object.

Roop

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Thats right Roop Newark------the amount of Edwardian mahogany side tables that i saw go there that my mate Nikki used to knock up with new mdf table tops and green leather and mahogany veneer, a bit of french polish and Blackfriars Jacobian black wax and hey presto an Antique Edwardian writing desk worth twice to three times as much.

The beauty about Newark was that dealers just wanted to fill the containers and there was that many dealers there they always knew someone who wanted something.

By the way some of my engineering work was to do with the electro-plating industry, this is where i learnt about chemicals, and aging of metal and other things goes back thousands of years its not new by far.

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Fascinating, just fascinating.!!

Nuff said.

Tom.

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I too have ENHANCED items of furniture in the past to sell on but now i only do this to items of ordnance in my own personal collection and to pieces freinds have brought me to do up for them .I do this because most of the pieces are in semi relic condition when i get them and brand new replacement parts i have made would stand out like a sore thumb so i age them to blend in with the original parts.suppose you would call this sympathetic restoration.an example of which is shown below .a no36 mk1 and the 3" mortar round made from a dug tail and body with new fuse and collar (all INERT)

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I`ve often been tempted by those bits of shaped and polished wood with a brass plaque saying something like "Timber from HMS Victory removed during repairs" or "From HMS Dreadnought when scrapped". Any evidence of "professional enhancement" of these items? :( Phil B

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hey thanks for the tip ive just seen an old wooden pallet in the street near me looks like it may have fallen off HMS victory as it cruised the canal in leeds.better get the saw and varnish out

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