Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I got fooled!

Oh Yes it happened!
I bought a coveted “Le Follet Courrier Des Salons” fashion print on the left bank in Paris. One of the “bouquinistes” had a stack of fashion prints I thought were antiques. So he said!

Well I got fooled!
The print was framed so it was not obvious at first glance but as I was curious to examine my new prized possession more closely I discovered pixels. And yes you read right! Pixels!

Certainly not a printing process in use in the 1830s when the print was supposed to have been engraved.

And pixels were not the only thing that should have raised a red flag but at the time since this print was the first “Le Follet Courrier Des Salons” I ever owned I would not have known. The size was wrong too.

In this next picture, you will see side by side a very real antique “Le Follet” print on the left and on its right the infamous copy I has to confess I own (Thank God shame does not kill anymore!).

As you can see the left print is significantly smaller than the right one. Maybe the forger thought a larger image would bring more money? We will never know but all the real “Le Follet Courrier Des Salons” prints I own are approximately the same size. The fake is too big.

Then if we examine the blue color in each print, the dress on the right shows the neatly lined up little blue dots – the so called pixels- when the blue skirt on the left shows a solid blue color as it should be.

So yes I got fooled but you do not have to. Check the color on a solid area and if you see very regular tiny dots lined up, a 20thC printing process was used to create a fake engraving of the 19thC.

Below are the pictures of other samples of “Le Follet Courrier Des Salons”.

Note: these prints do not show a year of publication but “Le Follet Courrier Des Salons” was published in France from 1829 to 1882 .
The prints can be dated from the style of the dresses and hats pictured and the style of drawing of faces (I will show a comparison of faces in a future blog).


  1. Thanks for this post. It's very informative. I still can't decide if my find is a real print from 1834 or not.
    There are no pixelations but I only have one other antiquarian print to compare it to.
    My Le Follet print (No 333 of 1834) is 223mm high and 145 mm wide or roughly 8 7/8th high by 5 6/8th wide. That seems to be the right size from my research.
    It has been backed with something like photographic card and then mounted. If it was a reprint I would think it would have been printed on something more substantial that didn't require backing. Or am I barking up the wrong tree?
    Ah well it's pretty and cost me 20 cents. I'm not complaining.

    1. Thank you for you comment.
      Without seeing your print I cannot tell you for 100% if it is a fake or not.
      However, disclaimer being out of the way, the size of your print is consistent with that the "Le Follet" prints of that period and if the color is smooth and not "pix-elated" your print is most likely a very nice 1834 antique fashion print.
      Congratulations that was a great find!

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