Fakes, art fraud, forgery, art fraud and art forgery activities, Freemanart consultancy archive files. Dali, Picasso











Art  Fraud  &  Illicit  Art  &  Forgery    Activities
Fake art
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Arty-Facts: The Freemanart Consultancy specialise in the identification of art fraud and forgery internationally, conduct art authentication investigations and procedures, effect detailed academic archival research and forensic analysis. Undertake due diligence studies and Provenance enquiries. Working from bases and labs strategically located in Canada, the UK and Europe.






Art Authentication: Before you begin


* Before entering into a full investigation of the legitimacy of a work of art, be it academic, forensic or as with most cases, both, it is essential to know if the project is at all viable and possibly provable. Much as you would need to know if you were taking a legal case to court.

Logically, if   it   is  not, you should not attempt it, as the risk of  failure is too high.

So we always prefer to make a preliminary and vital professional pre authentication assessment for clients first. This is based upon the images you supply, the details and the items history.

This is a logical & cost effective professional assessment and advisory for which there is a modest set fee.

Please see our FAQ's which explains the process in detail.

 Here on this page we have assembled for your information and enjoyment, a number of interesting cases and astonishing facts and figures about art fraud and forgery.







Experts say that up to 1/2 of all limited edition prints on the art market are actually fake or bear fake signatures!


Of Joan Miró aquatints, Sotheby’s and Christies will only offer them  for sale from the 1960's and only then if there is a correct well established and proven provenance.


Is either one right?




Sotheby’s and Christies will also no longer consider selling Salvador Dalí prints executed later than 1930 because there are so many fakes in circulation.







The majority of fake prints are imported from Poland and Russia and the former Czechoslovakia.





Arguably, the most faked artists in history are:

Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot
Salvador Dali
Honore Daumier
Vincent van Gogh
Kazimir Malevich
Amedeo Modigliani
Frederic Remington
Auguste Rodin
Maurice Utrillo





Freemanart see more

fake Pablo Picasso drawings, prints and oil paintings

than any other artist's artwork.

On average, about a dozen a month!


Fake art



From the enquiries we receive and and the number of investigations we undertake

Freemanart's top artists on the list of the most

faked paintings, drawings and prints we see are:

PICASSO: Pablo Ruiz Picasso

Chagall Marc

DEGAS: Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas

MIRO: Joan Miró i Ferrà

Van GOGH: Vincent Willem van Gogh

COROT: Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot


Cortes Edouard

Gauguin Paul

Turner JMW (easily also the most misattributed.)
RENOIR: Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Monet Claude

COURBET: Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet

LOWRY: Laurence Stephen Lowry

POTINIKOV: Ivan Pavlovich Pokitonov

ROUSSEAU: Henri Rousseau





A good forger attempts to deceive the

naked human eye.

It's part of the challenge in the game he plays.

Deceiving science in expert hands is however, practically impossible!"






Jean Baptiste COROT

fake Corot


  It's famously said that Jean Baptiste Camille Corot, the French Impressionist painter, produced about 3,000 works of art in his life.

Granted, he was a pretty busy man.

But in the USA alone, there are estimated to be about 8,000 of his works of art !

That causes just a bit of a logistical problem as the mathematics are simple.

Of Mr. Picasso though, it's probably much, much worse !






Fake Goya Painting

Fake Goya Painting






So what's this all about Jacopo Poggibonsi

"The Fake Faker"


Students of art history are ultimately pointed towards the standard reference tomes in relation to the published biographical information on this artist, or lack of it.

You should all clarify its completeness and establish its accuracy.

Look a little harder and deeper at the story, as all the pointers are there and the truth stares you in the face. All may not be quite as it seems?









Picasso fake

Picasso? Serigraph.



Picasso original 1901




Picasso fake

Small Pierrot- Lithograsph Picasso


 The white on green Pierrot image (above left) is a modern silk screen (a serigraph) sent to us by an American client who bought it believing it to be an original print by Picasso.  It is not the lithograph referred to as "Small Pierrot" of much later which is illustrated to the right and based on Picasso's gouach of 1901 (centre)

It is an entirely different beast altogether, so Picasso Bloggers, get you facts right.

 The American printed commercial serigraph is in fact an unlicenced variant of an original Picasso work (seen above and painted in gouache and executed by Picasso in 1901) but the white on green print was presented and marketed as an original Picasso work of art. Thus fraudulently.


Arty-Fact: Picasso didn't do any silk screens or serigraphs!







FAKE Certificates of Authenticity





   It was recently drawn to our attention that  a crooked EBAY seller had posted for sale a 'Picasso' - Supported it would seem by this fake certificate of authenticity that he created for Item # 290103.        

  He, a student at university in the USA, claimed that Freemanart had authenticated the fake work he was selling and included that fact and a COA in the descriptor.

He also lied that we supplied him directly with this fake Certificate of Authenticity, as shown on the right.

A few problems here: One: We would never do that as no one other than the Picasso Administration can underpin an authentication.

And Two: This certificate of authenticity is printed on LEGAL size paper ie:

8.5 × 14 inches  or 216 × 356 mm. in size

Freemanart are based in the UK and therefore use the international standard ISO 216  - A4  paper measuring 210 by 297 millimetres ( 8.27 in × 11.7 in) for letters.

Silly - Silly man on two counts!


Fake COA           





PLEASE NOTE: Freemanart never issue such certificates of authenticity.

If you see one it is bogus and a fake. It does not bear our Logo and most definitely is not Mr Freeman's signature.

If you do see one like it - DO NOT BUY THE ARTWORK it purports to support  and please report the seller directly to the police.








  There are literally thousands of bogus and therefore totally worthless Certificates of Authenticity floating about the art world accompanying works of art to build confidence in a  buyers eyes. So you would be very wise to ask your lawyer to investigate and define the legal standing of it before accepting any as being any guarantee what so ever of either legitimacy or absolute authenticity of the work of art it refers to. It is as fake as the work is.

Certificate of Authenticity:


 If the Certificate of Authenticity does not bear the authenticators name, address, is dated and confirms his QUALIFICATION to justify the authentication, be very wary!

If he has nothing to hide he will have no problem of clearly identifying himself

 He will also clearly define, correctly title and specify the measurements of the piece. After all, a certificate of authenticity is a document citing a legal guarantee and needs to be filled out right.

 In the authentication of a work claiming to be by any of the worlds principal artists, a little homework will show you that only certain experts and authorities, such as appointed review boards, committees, panels of experts or members of the artists family, can guarantee and thus underpin  either the authenticity itself, or establish an unshakable attribution that is internationally accepted.

And a very thorough and convincing case must be presented to those in authority to achieve this.


 The so called 'Certificate of Authenticity' seen above, supporting the authenticity of a Salvador Dali limited edition print, has some massive loopholes in it that were never spotted by a purchaser who is now down by six thousand US dollars in the fraud.


 We have blocked out the name of the owner of the print this accompanied for his security and confidentiality and we also disguised the signature of the issuer as well as the name of the appraisal company who sold the prints.


This is because we could be sued for breach of copyright and defamation of their character if we revealed it ! 










Fake, signed celebrity photos & autographs.


 Freemanart have investigated a glut of fake autographed photos recently which unfortunately are a bad reflection on a great service as they had all been purchased through Ebay ®

 Please note that the worry for us here is that several of our clients came to us for the authentication of autographs from several different locations.

 Sadly, the majority of these celebrity autographs and autographed photos were executed using an Autopen, which is a  mechanical device that duplicates human autographs. Though the descriptors on Ebay ® claim vehemently they are not and are completely original.

The Autopen is a machine which has been widely used by celebrities, personality and even royalty when they are far too busy to sign rafts of documents or requests for signed images.

Take the obvious examples for instance which follow: The hundreds of thousands of requests for from fans for autographed copies of photos let's say of the Beatles >

Consider then, the vast number of these machine duplicated autographs in circulation?


Fake Lennon autograph

Auto pen signed copy of a

John Lennon Photograph.

















Fake apollo 11 autographs  
Fake Ali autograph

 ^ The official NASA photo - Autopen signed image of the crew of Apollo 11. The first manned landing on the moon in July 1969. Commander Neil Alden Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins & Lunar Module Pilot 'Buzz' Aldrin.

All were happy to sign their signature which were copied onto a matrix to be duplicated mechanically.






 ^ An Auto pen signed photograph of the incomparable Mohammad Ali / Cassius Clay. Who is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight championship boxers of all time


Wherever there is celebrity status to any degree, Autpens are used. Sports, music, film, governmental.

Presidents even.

Fake Nixon Autograph

Fake Lady Diana autograph


Even her Christmas cards were more often than not signed using an Autopen



Fake Babe Ruth autograph

^ Babe Ruth: Even signed baseballs used Autopen technology to recreate autographs. Causing us even more headaches when trying to authenticate real signed examples!



HRH Diana Princess of Wales.







Fake Michael Jordan autograph

Michael Jordan

Fake Elvis Autograph



 The key feature about Autopen signed autographs, is that the stylus that transfers the ink to the photo surface is held vertically in the machine as it copies the autograph from the matrix.

This means that unlike your own signature which is created using a pen held at an angle, there is no THICK  to  THIN variation in the line .

It is all very similar in its thickness and tone therefore.

Compared to the real thing







Fake Star Wars autograph

Star Wars  1977 ?



 Our fraud investigation this time concerned the movie 'Star Wars', with a photo very similar indeed to the one above, signed in Autopen by Harrison Ford... But the one we investigated was signed by all the cast - At least allegedly !


 Neatly bearing autographs of several of its original cast, who if you recall were; Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Sir Alec Guinness, Peter Cushing, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse and Kenny Baker, it should be worth a lot of money to collectors, if original and from around 1977?


 The autographs were nice bright and sharp, blue and black signatures which were emblazoned over the respective stars images. But far too bright!

 The celebrity photograph containing the suspicious autographs that Freemanart examined was identified to have been printed on Fuji, Fujicolor Crystal Archive Professional Paper, which we are told by the makers' Fuji,' was introduced in 2001   NOT  1977 !

The first big mistake made by the seller - a crook and a swindler obviously, but a very stupid crook indeed !!




 This photo, the print itself, irrespective of the autographs it bears, can therefore only be a reprint of an original, as the film Star Wars was out well before the Fuji paper was even produced.  It can be nothing else.

It is not an 'original print' from the year 1977 or even 1988 as was claimed by the Ebay seller & therefore it is in no way connected directly with the film.

The years simply don't add up........ But Its gets worse!


 This EBAY seller seems magically to have been able to collect hundreds of these celebrity photographs over the years, incredibly, all  signed in the same colour pens and all on the same sort of modern photographic paper!

He must have stood waiting in the rain for the stars for hours! 

This one case though was a particularly interesting and shows just how remiss some of the Ebay® sellers are in covering up their tracks!

In fact, it's just plain stupid as they can end up in prison for fraud!




Fake autograph

 < Here is the 'Autopen' signed autograph section of the whole photo showing Sir Alec Guinness who magnificently played the role of Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars film.

Taken in context, cut out of the Star Wars cast photograph we examined.

The Second big mistake by the crooked seller is this ;

Sir Alec Guinness died on Monday, 7th August 2000 at the age of 86 years.

That's a full year before the photographic paper his autograph is signed on was invented - 2001 !

BBC News. Monday, 7 August, 2000 told us"……."The hospital would not reveal the cause of death, but Sir Alec had been suffering from ill health for a number of years. He had chronic glaucoma and had undergone cataract surgery to restore his vision".




  So our not so ultra - intelligent Ebay fraudster, wants us to believe that incredibly, Sir Alec himself had managed to come back from the dead in 2001, a full year later, completely resurrected, but this time as a partially sighted man, eager and willing to sign this photo just for the seller!  











Fake Picasso

PICASSO - A Question of Authenticity.  Is this a real Picasso Drawing?


The pen and ink Picasso drawing on brown paper (illustrated left) is not authentic. It is a fake Picasso drawing.  The signature and inscription study and academic research showed us that it is not consistent with known works of Picasso.  Neither is the paper it is drawn on, which was not made until 1982.

This is a kind of a giveaway really, as Picasso died in 1973!  Even so, the buyer, our client, lost himself a cool $10,000.00 for that simple mistake!

A great shame he didn't come to us sooner!








Most of the fakes we see at Freemanart, naturally do have the big names, the celebrities of the art world attached to them and therefore give promise to big money values and even BIGGER long term profits for the buyer!

Messrs: Picasso, Degas, Miro, Chagall and Dali are the most notoriously faked in the prints world and the most often presented culprits as forgeries both in type and with forged signatures. Appearing far too regularly on our authentication  investigation schedule.







In the course of just one week, we identified a string of 'big name' fraudulent prints which have emerged from the USA

with clients losing over $35,000.00 on their earlier art investments!





Tip of the week on Buying Prints - REPEATED.


Be really cautious, if not totally skeptical of a Certificate of Authenticity which;

a/ Do not contain the addresses and the qualifications of the authenticator

b/ COA's that are not dated

c/ And - Don't carry accurate information and description about the print or work you are buying.

Sometimes the title of the work may be just slightly different than its actual legitimate title in the Catalogue raisonné.


If the authentication paperwork, especially for a graphic work doesn't tally with the catalogue listing for the art work and the physical sizes of the artwork doesn't add up either, it's rather a bit like being an 1/8th. of an inch off the edge of a cliff.

You are going to end up with a very sore backside and a damaged ego.




















  It's true to say, we receive hundreds of serious enquiries each month from people around the world who want to have their Picasso or other masterpiece authenticated.

 The majority of clients have quite viable and credible stories and truly believe that they have an original work of art. One which may have been passed down through the family or purchased by themselves at auction. And they entirely believe it to be real.

Far too many of them though have straightforward 'fakes' or questionable limited edition prints bearing flowery certificates of authentication, usually bought from mobile 'presentations' or hot off the internet.

 Judging by the number of fakes we've seen, cruise ships and hotel presentations are notorious.

There is a sort of unwritten viability given to the seller/s because the hotel chain or cruise line name gives us that credibility. It's almost a recommendation to the point of sale! This is not so.

They simply rent the space to the dealers and do not support or guarantee anything!    












Conspiracy & 'Mail Fraud'



Fake Dali prints

As defined by the Credit Research Foundation is as follows:

Mail fraud: The use of the U.S. Mail to defraud companies or individuals.

This has become one of the main statutes to prosecute individuals on federal fraud charges. Prosecution under the mail fraud statute must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt:

Conspiracy: An agreement by two or more persons to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act.





Hilda Amiel: (C 1923) American

 Hilda Amiel, was a 70 year old grandmother from New York who was accused of masterminding the world’s largest fine art print counterfeiting operation. An operation which is conservatively estimated to have generated massive public losses at the retail level & was associated with four principal artists; Salvador Dali, Marc Chagall, Joan Miro and Pablo Picasso.

The figure was believed to be up to $1 billion dollars worldwide.


 It was claimed that she, assisted by 'others', flooded the art market with prints purportedly by or attributed to Picasso and Dali and other great modernists in the eight years before she was arrested. But as public record has it, this tuned out to be a family affair.

Before her death, she was seen to be cooperating with lawyers having been arrested after 'Operation Bogart,' lead by U.S. Postal Inspector Jack Ellis, by making a lengthy videotape confession explaining how her late husband, Leon Amiel, who had started his career as a highly respectable dealer, was extremely close to some of the world's greatest artists such as Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso.

Hilda Amiel had told defence lawyers that the younger Amiel girls that were charged along with her with mail fraud for selling the fake Salvador Dali prints etc. couldn't possibly have known that the family business was illegitimate.


 It was discovered in 1993 that Amiel had warehoused over 83,000 fake prints which themselves could have netted £325 million on the art market!. However, Hilda Amiel, died before her trial began, at the age of 71.


 Police had charged Hilda Amiel, her daughters, Kathryn and Joanne and her granddaughter, Sarina, with conspiracy and mail fraud in connection with the sale of the fake prints through their company 'Original Artworks.' This was believed to be part of Leon Amiel Publishers Inc. and Amiel Book Distribution Corp. Both were founded by Hilda Amiel's late husband, Leon Amiel, who had died in 1988. (He was also implicated in a separate illicit art affair over Dali which is covered elsewhere on the Internet.)


 The New York state jury found Kathryn Amiel guilty of some 23 counts of mail fraud, Joanne guilty of 15 counts of mail fraud and Sarina guilty of 18 counts of mail fraud.

The Amiel women were sentenced on May 12, 1995 - Kathryn to six-and-a-half years, Joanne to three years and 10 months and Sarina to two years and nine months. They began serving their federal prison terms in November 2000 after the rejection of their appeals.

About Fakes II








British art authentication experts



Specialist Expertise by Artist






Honore Daumier




























Fakes & Fake Art - Certificates of Authenticity | art fraud forgery | Freemanart Authentication experts

Fakes & Fake Art - forgery and Certificates of authenticity, Picasso, Dali, prints fakes and Fake Celebrity Autographs

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