by Christopher Robin Andrews.
During the second week of February of this year, Stefano Ionescu gave two talks in the San Francisco Bay area, the first as part of a seminar at the de Young Museum entitled “Museum Fakes, Forgeries, and the Quest for Authenticity”, the second in a hands on workshop at Peter Pap Oriental Rugs Gallery in North Beach.
Both talks focused on the remarkable career of Teodor Tuduc, a 20th century forger, which Ionescu documented after a 10 years research. It is estimated that Tuduc produced in his Brasov workshop circa 250 copies of previously published rugs, which he marketed as being originals from the 16th and 17th centuries. The list of scholars who published Tuduc’s “Kinder” as antique rugs, and the knowledgeable collectors and Museum curators he deceived is notable. Although there are subtle structural and design anomalies in these forgeries, they are still remarkably well made, amply demonstrating Tuduc’s familiarity and wealth of knowledge about the Transylvanians, as well as about Caucasian, Persian and Spanish carpets (which he also copied). At the workshop, Ionescu was joined by several Armenian colleagues, who emigrated from Romania, now based in Los Angeles, whose parents actually worked with “uncle” Tuduc in the 1930s.
Ionescu’s book, “Handbook of Fakes by Tuduc”, available on www.transylvanianrugs.com, is a part of an ongoing effort by the author to assemble accurate information, is the most useful tool to uncover other carpet forgeries. He very much welcomes any information about fakes or about questionably rugs.
Christopher Robin Andrews, Classical Carpets