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How to Detect Forgeries Among Old Chinese Paintings and Calligraphic Works

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Old Chinese paintings and calligraphic works are part of the fine cultural heritage of the Chinese people and occupy an important place in the history of art. But ever since these works of art were sold as commodities on the market, some people have made it their profession to produce forgeries for the purpose of high profits. As a result, mixed among the large numbers of masterpieces are quite a few works of uncertain date and artists produced by men who altered existing works, passed off recent works as antiques or works by unknown artists as those of great masters, or turned out works by pasting several pieces together or mixing the genuine with the fake. For anyone who collects, preserves or makes use of this part of the cultural heritage, it is highly important, first of all, to appraise existing old paintings and calligraphic works and distinguish the genuine from forgeries. Works produced by hacks or by imitating and copying must be eliminated. To popularize the knowledge needed to tell genuine works from fakes, several principal methods are listed below for detecting forgeries produced by tracing, copying, imitating, hacking, altering and patching, which may be helpful to those whose work is related to cultural relics and those who are interested in making appraisals of old paintings and calligraphic works.

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