"Fakers, Forgers & Phoneys" is a masterful exploration of the shadowy world of deception and counterfeiting. The 16 case studies in this intriguing collection reveal: how a house-painter-cum-art-restorer fooled the art world and became a national TV celebrity in 1979; the identity of the person who fabricated the 'missing link' human skull which was discovered in a gravel pit at Piltdown in Essex in 1912; how a mystery man known by the unlikely name of George Psalmanazar fooled the London literary world in 1704 with his lurid accounts of cannibalism and polygamy in his native island of Formosa (Taiwan); how an obese cockney adventurer resident in Australia succeeded in passing himself off as a slim young English aristocrat who had disappeared more than ten years earlier in 1854 ("The Tichborne Claimant"); and how a suave London conman inveigled a struggling artist to become involved in the greatest British art scam of the twentieth century. "Fakers, Forgers & Phoneys" is the essential guide to the most ingenious art and literary forgeries, archaeological frauds, and imposters and hoaxers in the world.
Magnus Magnusson KBE was born in Reykjavik in 1929 and came with his family to Edinburgh at the age of nine months. Prior to his death in January 2007, he had a distinguished career in broadcasting, journalism, historical and archaeological research, Icelandic and Old Norse studies, and environmental affairs.