Comments for Forensic Testing of Paint and Wood

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Jan 11, 2009
A hard question....
by: WFR

Perhaps a paint chemist or botanist could roughly determine the age through changes in the paint or the wood. Since such changes are the result of storage conditions and environmental exposure (which are probably mostly unknown), only a very rough estimate might be forthcoming.

An alternative approach would be the determine the type of wood and paint used. These are relatively simple tests that competent botanists and paint chemists could carry out. What the tests would reveal would be the earliest possible date for the creation of the decoys. A clever counterfeiter might use old materials to make the decoy appear old. This is like a document authentication problem: you can definitely show a document to be false by showing it contains materials that did not exist at the time it was supposedly created; however, you can't prove that at document is authentic.

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