“Treasure Detectives” is the first reality series to be added to CNBC’s primetime lineup since announcing that it would be exploring new reality formats in primetime.
In each one-hour episode, the “Treasure Detectives” team will track two cases verifying the authenticity of collectibles, artwork and antiquities to determine whether they are sophisticated forgeries or legitimate collectors’ items -- answers that could cost or earn owners a small fortune.
Catapulted by an explosion of pop-culture interest in collectibles, the market for antiques and artwork has ballooned into a multi-billion dollar industry in the last few years. It’s no longer just a hobby for the rich and resourceful. Americans of every economic level have started putting hard-earned money into collections of historical items, pop-culture memorabilia and art pieces.
Unfortunately, the boom in dollars has brought with it a boom in fakes and forgeries. Counterfeiters have used this gold rush opportunity to take advantage of a naïve consumer base whose knowledge of antiques doesn’t necessarily match its appetite for buying them.
Enter Curtis Dowling, a world-renowned fakes and forgeries detective. Over the years, the world’s most exclusive luxury brands, from Christie’s to Tiffany to Cunard Cruise lines, have enlisted Dowling to investigate and authenticate memorabilia and artwork in their interests.
Dowling and his hand-picked team of investigators dig into the history and the science of potentially counterfeit items on behalf of real collectors who may have been scammed. They trace not just where an item came from, but how it was made -- and in many cases, how it was faked. Every investigation turns up astounding information, and may even force history to be re-written.
From garage sale finds that could turn out to be worth millions of dollars to extravagant purchases that may turn out to be worthless frauds, Dowling will investigate on behalf of people with thousands and perhaps millions of their own money on the line.
In the course of each investigation, Dowling and his team will pull back the curtain on forgers, allowing viewers to take away real information. By revealing the methods that forgers use to create convincing fakes, he will demonstrate how to avoid similar scams.
“Treasure Detectives” is produced by Endemol USA. Amber Mazzola is the executive producer.