Books: Objets d'Artifice

FAKE! by Clifford Irving. 243 pages. McGraw-Hill. $7.95.

For every credibility gap, there is an equal amount of gullibility fill. This is particularly true in the art market, where the stampede for status and dollar appreciation has helped to enrich art forgers and unscrupulous dealers.

Last year in Texas, 44 paintings in the collection of Dallas Oilman Algur Hurtle Meadows turned out to be phonies. Most duped collectors are usually so sore in their pride that they say nothing or try to recoup quietly. Others, who have unwittingly donated forgeries to museums for big...

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