'Treasure Detectives' Curtis Dowling: ' 40 perecent of everything we look at is not right'

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On Tuesday, March 5, business cablenet CNBC expands its prime-time brand with the premiere of "Treasure Detectives."

Expert Curtis Dowling and his team of investigators seek the facts behind collectibles, artwork and antiquities using high-tech science, innovative technology and street smarts to discover if they're sophisticated forgeries or true collectors' items.

They not only trace an item's origin and manufacture but also, if it is a fake, how the deception was accomplished.

" Thomas Hoving, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art," Dowling tells Zap2it, "said 40 percent of all his art collection was fake. He just wished he knew which 40 percent it was. And that's a fair indicator, to be honest, of the art world.

"When you get called to look at these things, the first thing people say is, 'Nothing I've got is fake.' All of a sudden, you start going through that collection of porcelain or paintings or baseball cards or whatever, and the reality of it is quite sinister.

"Forty percent of everything we look at is not right. It could be a complete fake. It could be embellished to look older than it is. But my job over the last 28 years has been to ferret them out and expose the faker and just to stop this happening.

"It will never happen, because for every one fake I catch, there's four more being made as we have this talk amongst us. So that's why the show is happening. No one's ever seen this on telly before, and hopefully we're going to make people a lot wiser and stop some fakers and forgers right in their tracks."

According to Dowling, people collect the darndest things: "Collectors are obsessive. I've been commissioned by a guy who collects geese, porcelain geese, all sorts. And the guy's paid $50,000 for something worth $3,000 just because he didn't want the other collector to get it. People collect food, old food. People collect items of their favorite star's food, so, George Harrison's piece of toast, John Lennon's cheese that he left when he divorced Cynthia in 1969."
Photo/Video credit: CNBC
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