Art Deco is a period of creation of decorative arts born in France from 1909, date of the first Art Deco.
of the first Ballet Russe given in Paris. It saw its climax at the International Exhibition of the Arts in Paris.
industrial and modern decorations in 1925. The famous financial crisis of 1929 marked
symbolically its decline. In the early 1970s, the artistic production of this period was
rediscovered by merchants, avant-garde pioneers. The emergence of this young market has been
accompanied by a demand greater than supply, naturally leading to the appearance of fakes.
The forgery is a "materialized lie" which takes the physical form of an object intended to
deceive the buyer who will think he is buying an authentic work. This appellation groups together forgeries
simple, i.e. modern copies made from an original model, sometimes wearing a
false signature. In addition, there are artistic forgeries, true modern plagiarisms that do not copy
existing models, but are original creations designed by drawing from the repertoire of the
stylistic of the plagiarized artist. They are intended to make people believe that they are authentic creations not
referenced. It also includes period furniture or objects bearing the counterfeit trademark.
prestigious names.
Counterfeiters active on the Art Deco market have not invented any of the outdated techniques of
their predecessors in trickery since the trade in fakes became widespread in the 17th century.
Their tricks remain the same for Art Deco when it comes to materials used centuries ago.
such as wood, metal, ivory and lacquer. Jean Dunand, Eileen Gray, Paul Iribe, Pierre Legrain,
Gustave Miklos, Armand-Albert Rateau, Clément Rousseau, Jacques Émile Ruhlmann and Eugénie
O'Kin are, among others, the post-mortem victims of modern forgers. This memoir offers a
selection of 37 delicious pieces catalogued as authentic in the public auctions of
over the last 50 years. Fake lacquer panels, furniture, bronze sculptures, light fixtures and objects
artworks are filtered through the analysis by comparing them with their originals or by putting them in a
relationship with ancient sources.
However, the original object imitated or plagiarized is never fully understood. A fake always loses
information compared to the original, whether it be in the precision of its details, the quality of the
of execution, mastery of techniques or in the understanding of the artist's style. Clues to
outdated do not exist or are not convincing. Often anachronistic elements the
denounce. To accompany the Art Deco fake, the forger sometimes uses narrative procedures
fraudulent. He can ask for certificates from manipulated rights holders, manufacture fake
use real preparatory drawings or old documents, and set up bets on the origin, origin and
in scenes photographed in black and white to deceive. The narration imagined by the sponsor
of the forgery is however never totally coherent, either in its own logic or in relation to
the object. Even if it may appear well executed and be accompanied by a plausible narrative, a false
carries within it all the clues of its illegitimacy. It is up to the Art Deco expert to unmask them.

Alexandra Jaffré