Classical Numismatics Discussion
  Welcome Guest. Please login or register. Please look at the RECENT ADDITIONS and PRICE REDUCTIONS at the top and bottom of the page. All items are guaranteed authentic for eternity! Thanks for supporting Forum with your PURCHASES! Welcome Guest. Please login or register. Point your mouse to a coin in RECENT ADDITIONS or PRICE REDUCTIONS on this page to see the the price. All items are guaranteed authentic for eternity! Thanks for supporting Forum with your PURCHASES!


FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Antiquities  |  Egyptian Antiquities  |  Topic: Real Vs Fake: Faience amulets under a microscope. 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: [1] Go Down Print
Author Topic: Real Vs Fake: Faience amulets under a microscope.  (Read 973 times)
T B2
Legionary
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7


« on: January 16, 2019, 12:03:56 am »

Hello Egyptian collectors!

Anyone who has tried to get into the hobby of collecting Egyptian antiquities will quickly come to realize just how many fakes are out there. It can feel a little overwhelming at times, but there are a few good ways to tell what's real and what's not, as long as you can inspect the artifact closely.
I'll post a few images here that I feel may be helpful for anyone trying to identify if an ancient Egyptian artifact is real or fake.
Sometimes simply checking under a microscope is a good way to determine if it's real when other observations fail. This is most helpful for faience, but can help with many forms of ancient ceramics.  

In this case, I examined a pair of faience amulets under a microscope. One amulet was genuine, the other a clever fake. Both amulets looked similar at first glance.
The differences are shown in the below images, which I made during a project several years ago.

TOP PHOTO: These magnified images are from a real faience Thoth amulet bought from a reliable antiquities dealer at private auction. Take note of the uneven glazing, variation of color, and dust in all of the little nooks and crannies. The faience glaze is opaque, due to the high amount of impurities in the ancient formula. You'll have a hard time seeing air bubbles in the glassy parts. Any rough areas have been filled with caked-on dust, which even the most protected amulets will accumulate over time.

The fourth slide is a magnification of a small hole in the amulet. The dust is fibrous and caked on thickly. This is likely "mummy dust," although it could also be the remains of a string. It is a complex mixture of many materials, fibers, dust, resin, etc. Sellers who try to fake mummy dust tend to use one material, which causes the dust to seem to be a uniform composition under magnification. Some sellers will sprinkle their amulets with real mummy dust, but it will fail to get into all the nooks and crannies, leaving some areas with clean, glassy holes where bubbles caused flaws in the glaze.

Below you'll see images of a fake amulet. Take note of the clearly visible bubbles in the glaze, and the overall uniformity of color and cleanliness of the surface. You'll notice you can see the bubbles deep below the surface, due to how clear and pure the glaze is - a sign of industrially refined chemicals.
This is not what you'd see on an object that has been collecting dust for thousands of years. Even the best preserved artifacts will have some build up. On higher magnifications with a better microscope, small flecks of shiny dust, likely metal flakes, can be seen. These most likely would have corroded away in the ancient samples.

BOTTOM PHOTO: Magnified images of a fake faience Anubis amulet sold by the notorious seller of fakes on eBay, "collector08888." (I knew it was fake when I bought it, although he insisted it was genuine.)

Fakers have been getting better at making convincing fakes, but hopefully this will help the average collector weed out some of the less obvious fakes.

Thanks for reading!
Logged
Joe Sermarini
Owner, President
FORVM STAFF
Caesar
*****
Online Online

Posts: 9800


All Coins Guaranteed for Eternity.


WWW
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2019, 09:55:08 am »

Excellent post. Thanks.
Logged

Joseph Sermarini
Owner, President
FORVM ANCIENT COINS
Jorge G
Praetorian
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 20


« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2019, 05:22:41 am »

Hi

  wich microscope did you use?

   thank you
Logged
T B2
Legionary
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7


« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2019, 12:24:22 pm »

Any microscope capable of magnifying up to 50x should be sufficient to provide similar results when comparing samples.
Logged
Jorge G
Praetorian
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 20


« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2019, 01:55:25 am »

thank you for the reply
Logged
Russ
Consul
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 295


« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2019, 08:08:17 am »

Hi,
     Might we see photos of the two items you examined? Thanks.
Russ
Logged
Pages: [1] Go Up Print 
FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Antiquities  |  Egyptian Antiquities  |  Topic: Real Vs Fake: Faience amulets under a microscope. « previous next »
Jump to:  

Recent Price Reductions in Forum's Shop


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 1.339 seconds with 32 queries.