So, you own a Di-Faced Tenner or have seen one up for auction or sale. You also know that a lot of fakes are in circulation and you don’t want to spend big on a worthless copy. With the help of this article you can check if that Di-Faced Tenner is real of fake. But keep in mind the art of authenticating Di-Faced Tenners is not as easy you might think.
THE PAIN OF AUTHENTICATING A NON-COMMERCIAL BANKSY
When an artist sky rockets, his art becomes very valuable. Which, of course, is excellent if you acquired a work or two when the artist was still on the rise, but less so if you happened to acquire a fake. That’s where the art of art authentication comes in.
Banksy, one the of most up and coming artists of this moment, struggles with a lot of criminals that copy his work. This is the reason that he himself erected Pest Control. You can file a request with them and they will authenticate your ‘Banksy’. When they have finished their work and concluded that your ‘Banksy’ is real they will present you with a rather nice COA.
However, Pest Control only authenticates commercial work. Only when the work of art was sold to be owned and not created for all they will do their magic. In other words, if your collection happens to include a neat street sign or Di-Faced Tenner, you’re all out of luck. Pest Control won’t help you authenticate it. This is due to the simple reason that Banksy has said that his non-commercial work should not be owned by anyone.
THE CRITERIA TO CHECK IF A DI-FACED TENNER IS REAL
So, what do you do? One could venture to his local art dealer and ask them to eyeball the work, but not all dealers have experience with Di-Faced Tenners. Luckily, there are a couple of key aspects to see that tenner is real or fake. But keep in mind, authenticating a tenner is very difficult. It’s hard to know for sure.
CRITERIA ONE: THE SIZE
This is a grant one. Almost all genuine Di-Faced Tenners have the same size and luckily criminals aren’t that bright. One would think that when a criminal wants to falsify a work of art he would check the measurements of the originals for sure. But no. Even most art criminals aren’t the brightest of the bunch.
So, measure your tenner. If it measures 5 4⁄5 x 3 inches (7.62 x 14.61 cm) your on the money. Those are the measurements you’re looking for. It the bill is bigger or smaller, don’t buy it.
CRITERIA TWO: PAPER
The second criteria you want to look for is the paper. Not so much the quality, but the feel of it. That’s the important part. The real Di-Faced Tenners aren’t printed on heavy 240 or 300 gsm paper (museum grade paper). They’re printed on more “money like” paper. It’s more flexible and light weight.
A dead giveaway for a fake note is thick, heavy and hard to straighten paper. Just think about a print that has been rolled up to long. It doesn’t want to bend back into a flat shape. If a Banksy tenner is like that, you know it’s a fake one.
CRITERIA THREE: IMAGERY
A very easy way to spot if it’s a fake note is to check the imagery of the print. There are a lot of good examples to compare it to. For example, this is how your real tenner should look like:
Down side is, the fakers now this as well and thanks to the magic of “print” it’s easy for them to copy the real notes. So, even though this is an important criteria, it won’t give you certainty about the authenticity. Unless, when the imagery is different, of course. If that’s the case, don’t even bother anymore. It’s fake.
CRITERIA FOUR: COA
This might sound like the easiest criteria to check, but I’m afraid that’s not true. What goes for the tenners, goes for the COA’s as well. There are a lot of bogus certificates going around. A lot of galleries issue them and most of them (all modesty aside) don’t know their stuff. They just issue a COA to make sure they can sell it. That said, there are galleries that have their due diligence in order and only issue certificates if they are sure. But, as mentioned in the above, a certificate won’t be from Banksy himself or Pest Control for that matter. They won’t check it, so be aware of that.
That said, there is one COA that comes very close to an official certificate and that’s one issued by Steve Lazarides, Banksy’s former agent. He has issued a number of certificates that state that he himself guaranties the authenticity of the note. They come with a hologram to proof that the certificate matches the tenner. If you have one of those, you’re looking at price of 2000 to 3000 euro’s for a single note.
In all fairness, a COA from Steve Lazarides is basically the only certificate that can guarantee authenticity of a Di-Faced Tenner.
Update: we’ve have been made aware that even the Lazarides coa’s are being falsified. Our advice would to only trust a Lazarides coa if it comes from a respectable gallery or a genuine collector that can proof he bought it from Lazarides’ gallery.
TO SUMMARISE, BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT THE NOTE YOU BUY
So, to conclude, there are a lot of fake Di-Faced Tenners in circulation, but there are criteria to check if it’s a real one. However, it’s a hard trade to master and some fakes are very good. And be careful with so called COA’s. They won’t be from Banksy and they won’t be from Pest Control. If someone claims otherwise, turn down the offer.
If you really have set your mind on acquiring a Di-Faced Tenner, buy it from a trustworthy gallery or make sure it has a certificate and hologram from Lazarides. That’s the only way to make sure you got the real deal.
Do you own a Di-Faced Tenner and you’re not sure about the authenticity of it? Get in touch with and we will help you check it.
We have gotten a lot of request to give out a certificate. We simply cannot. UP & COMING ART can assist you with checking the authenticity, but only for your own private collection. Not for commercial purposes.