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section heading icon     landmarks

This chronology highlight some events in the history of forgery and hoaxes.

It covers -

Context is provided by the broader timeline about media and communications history.

section marker     gods and monsters

c300 forged letter from Jesus Christ to Abgar of Edessa

c760 forgery of the Donation of Constantine

1119 forgery of Pope Calixtus II's bull Ad hoc in Apostolicae

1353 Shroud of Turin discovered in France?

1389 described by the Bishop of Troyes as a cunning fraud

1519 Lorenzo Valla exposes Donation of Constantine

1653 Luca Giordano forges Durer Christ Healing the Cripple

1677 English Statute of Frauds

section marker
     diplomatics and the age of Ossian

1681 Mabillon's De Re Diplomatica

1699 Richard Bentley's Dissertation upon The Epistles of Phalaris

1704 Psalmanazar's An Historical and Geographical Description of Formosa

1756 Charles Bertram's 'Richard of Cirencester' forgery

1761 James Macpherson produces 'Ossian' forgery

1761 Price v Neal case in England is foundation of modern cheque regime

1769 Thomas Chatterton's 'Rowley' forgery

1780 John Jordan 'discovers' the will of Shakespeare's father

1791 Iolo Morganwg's Cyfrinach Beirdd Ynys Prydain

1794 William Henry Ireland starts 'discovering' Shakespeare manuscripts

1796 Ireland discovers Vortigen & Rowena

1829 Etienne Leon de Lamothe-Langon's Histoire de l'Inquisition en France

1832 UK abolishes capital punishment for banknote forgery

section marker     Wainewright to Dreyfus

1837 Thomas Griffiths Wainewright convicted of forgery

1839 Alexander Humphrys forgery case

1852 John Payne Collier announces 'discovery' of annotated Shakespeare Second Folio

1861 Constantine Simonides's 'St Matthew, James & Jude' papyrus forgeries

1861 Forgery Act 1861 (UK) and Coinage Act 1861 (UK) reduce counterfeiting money in England from treason to felony

1868 Robinson v. Mandell (US)

1870 Vrain-Denis Lucas convicted of forging letters from Mary Magdalene, Cleopatra and others

1873 Pietro Pennelli's 'Etruscan' terracottas accepted by Louvre

1879 William Mahan's 'Archko Volume'

1898 beginning of Dreyfus Affair

1898 Muller, Feith & Fruin's Manual for the Arrangement & Description of Archives

section marker     fossils and fantasists

1906 Appell, Darboux & Poincaré demonstrate that French army has forged documents to bolster case against Dreyfus

1910 Edmund Backhouse's Bodleian donation

1912 Piltdown forgery

1921 Philip Grave in The Times exposes Protocols of Elders of Zion

1925 Otto Wacker forges 'Van Gogh' paintings by the score

1926 Magdalene King-Hall's The Diary of a Young Lady of Fashion in the Year 1764-1765

1926 exposure of Hungarian government involvement in counterfeiting French currency

1929 International Convention for the Suppression of Counterfeiting Currency

1935 Fritz Kreisler reveals that he authored some 'Vivaldi' and 'Couperin' scores

section marker     Meegeren and Mussolini

1946 Hans van Meegeren paints 'Vermeer' in prison

1952 Joseph Weiner exposes Piltdown fraud

1955 George F Kennan definitely exposes 'Sisson Documents' forgery

1965 Vinland Map first published

1966 counterfeiting scare in Australia after introduction of decimal currency

1967 'Mussolini' diaries bought by Sunday Times

1967 Elmyr de Hory exposed as forging Dufy, Picasso, Derain etc

1968 Frederic Prokosch's 'Butterfly' first edition forgeries

1970 UN Convention on the Means of Prohibiting & Preventing the Illicit Import, Export & Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property

section marker     15 seconds of fame

1972 Clifford Irving convicted for forging Howard Hughes autobiography

1976 Education of Little Tree

1977 Turner identifies problems with Old Master drawings in Getty Museum collection

1978 Hughes 'Mormon Will' ruled a forgery

1983 Hitler Diaries 'discovered' by Konrad Kujau

1987 JS Boggs prosecuted in UK for contravening 1981 Forgery & Counterfeiting Act with hand-drawn £10, £5 and £1 notes

1988 radiocarbon dating questions Shroud of Turin's authenticity

1990 'Getty Kouros' questioned

1985 'White Salamander' Mormon manuscripts forgery

1995 Unidroit Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects

1995 Binjamin Wilkomiski's Memories Of A Childhood

1995 French Army formally apologises for forgery and "military conspiracy" in Dreyfus Affair

1998 Uniform Electronic Evidence Act in Canada

section marker     Jehoash, George Bush and beyond

2000 forged letter to Hitler from Duke of Windsor

2001 'Jehoash Tablet' discovery

2002 'St James Ossuary' discovery

2004 Israel government acts against alleged Jehoash and Ossuary forgery ring

2004 UK Daily Mirror publishes photos purportedly of Queen's Lancashire Regiment abusing Iraqi prisoners

2004 faked 'George Bush' documents during US presidential campaign

2007 Joyce Hatto scandal




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version of February 2007
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