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17th December 2005

So how on earth do we distinguish the genuine from the fake?


Well, I have this one.




And it's worth  taking a close look at this example, because it's a genuine one.

  • But, as with the majority of such genuine  pieces, it is repaired and restored.
  • Some of the superficial restoration has been carried out in a way which does betray this.



  • The surface of the left breast is very different from the right breast. But a restorer would be unlikely to create this difference on purpose.
  • It is possible that this breast has been restored and that over time this surface effect has occured.
  • But it is also quite likely that this is a natural wearing of the original fabric.


(There are hidden restorations which only come to light after the piece is moved into a different environment; usually to a less humid environment when some trapped moisture in the fired ceramic dries out and a superficial colour change occurs - I will try to document this sort of change as shown on other pieces elsewhere on this website in due course.)




  • But what about the head and neck?
  • The heads are often found loose; they break off.
  • When repaired and restored it is commonly the case that there is also overpainting at the join.
  • Sometimes ultraviolet light will cause the new painting to fluoresce brightly , but not always.


Well, to find out we are going to have  to do something more; X-Ray the piece.



Tell Halaf figurine X-Rayed.......and more!