describes the process of making or adapting objects or documents, with the intention to deceive
. Copies, studio replicas, and reproductions are not considered forgeries, though they may later become forgeries through knowing and willful mis-attributions. In the 16th century
imitators of Albrecht Dürer
's style of printmaking improved the market for their own prints by signing them "AD", making them forgeries.
In the 20th century the art market made forgeries highly profitable. There are widespread forgeries of especially valued artists, such as drawings meant to be by Picasso, Klee, and Matisse.
This usage of 'forgery' does not derive from metalwork done at a 'forge', but it has a parallel history. A sense of "to counterfeit" is already in the Anglo-French verb forger "falsify."
Forgery is one of the techniques of fraud, including identity theft. Forgery is one of the threats that have to be addressed by security engineering.
Topics in forgery:
- Art forgery
- Literary forgery - these literary forgeries all had some affect on the course of cultural history. Other literary forgeries, such as the Hitler diaries, briefly achieve wide notoriety, without affecting subsequent history; they are brought together as literary hoaxes.
- Relic forgery - It is not the efficacy of a relic that is in question, but only its provenance.
- Archeological forgery
Robert Cohon, Discovery & Deceit: archaeology & the forger's craft Kansas: Nelson-Atkins Museum, 1996
Oscar Muscarella, The Lie Became Great: the forgery of Ancient Near Eastern cultures, 2000