TODAY

TODAY   |  March 05, 2013

‘Treasure Detectives’ search out antique fakes

New CNBC series “Treasure Detectives” enters the world of renowned fakes and forgeries detective Curtis Dowling as he and his team search out fake artwork, antiques, and collectibles. Dowling talks about starring in the network’s first-ever reality show.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> do you know how to spot a fake from a fortune when it comes to art, antiques and collectibles? cnbc's first ever reality show , featuring curtis downing and his team of investigators.

>> i need to be 100% convinced that this hasn't been produced by a master forger. what i need to do now is compare the wood grain fingerprint from our lichtenstein to a lichtenstein that we know to be genui genuine.

>> good morning to you.

>> good morning.

>> a lot of people are familiar with " antiques road show ." this is sort of the concept with a twist. finding out if people's things around the house are actually treasures.

>> it has two dimension, doesn't it? people bring their items along and you have that great expert giving an opinion. we're taking the cameras behind the scenes of exactly how things are authenticated. technology plays such a big part now. you have the item, the story, the technical testing, but the expert opinion still counts for a lot.

>> give me an example of the things you feature on the show.

>> we've got some crazy items. a stratovaris violin.

>> did you authenticate it or does that give it away?

>> i'm not going to give it away. jane brown's cape.

>> this is your expertise. you've been at it for a couple of decades now. can you really translate it to a television show ? i can imagine a lot of this is quite time consuming.

>> it's hugely time consuming. don't think for a second we haven't done the job properly just because the cameras are turned on. some of these cases have taken weeks to be able to break but it's been squeezed down into an hour show, one episode we deliberated for days over some of these items to make sure when we give a verdict it's absolutely 100% right.

>> you let the viewers in on the forensics, how you determine if something is real or fake, are you mindful that if you reveal any of your techniques that you might be giving the bad guys a how to?

>> we always thought of it. it's like a jurassic park . they don't show you how to make a dinosaur, but how it's done. it's that sort of thing. we always leave out that bit that will never be a forger's checklist really.

>> these are human stories and i think everybody can identify with the hope or day dream that you have something in your attic that turns out to be fabulously valuable. do you run into stories lick that during the show?

>> all the stories are just because something is very valuable or something is not very valuable, a person is rich or poor, you have to come at it the same. this is still someone's dream. and there are things without a fortune in somebody's attic that they've not gotten out yet.

>> you've been at this for years. have you ever gotten anything wrong?

>> of course you do, because you're learning your trade when you're young. any expert who says he's never gotten anything wrong isn't telling the truth. the chances of technology being wrong are slim.

>> it's great to have you