Teodor Tuduc

Category: Exhibitions

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.

Almost 200 people attended the Mini-symposium “Museum Fakes, Forgeries, and the Quest for Authenticity” organized on February 9th, by Jill D’Alessandro curator of Textile Arts at the de Young Museum.

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.

Workshop on Tuduc Rugs at Peter Pap Oriental Rug Gallery – on the screen a fake Persian animal carpetpublished by Tuduc as Abb. XXIII in his b/w catalogue, a facsimile rug acquired in Romania in the 1990s shown by Stefano Ionescu, and the cartoon design, which served for this type of carpets, shown by Kaloust Agopian. His father, Agop Agopian, worked with Tuduc in the 1930s. People, who attended the workshop, said: “You can’t expect more information about fakes from the rug literature!”
(from left) Christine Giuntini from the MET and Jill D’Alessandro during the Workshop on Tuduc Rugs at Peter Pap Oriental Rug Gallery
Workshop on Tuduc Rugs at Peter Pap Oriental Rug Gallery – Talking Tuducs: Stefano Ionescu, Jim Dixon, Fred & Susan Ingham and Chris Andrews 

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


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