Fast connection helps firm tag ‘genuine fake’ artwork

David Henty is one of the UK's leading copyist artists.
David Henty is one of the UK's leading copyist artists.

A Pocklington-based business is using broadband powered technology to help a leading artist prove his fine art paintings are genuine fakes!

Agriyork400 Ltd – which supplies scientific equipment and laboratory supplies – has developed a hi-tech solution using electronic tags that provide paintings, by renowned copyist artist David Henty, with a secure digital certificate of authenticity.

David Henty is one of the UK’s leading copyist artists whose reproductions of great works of art are highly sought after by enthusiasts and private collectors and sell for many thousands of pounds.

The smart labels, also called radio frequency identification (RFID) tags , are intelligent bar codes that contain an antenna and a memory chip that stores data. They can be ‘read’ by a mobile phone or other enabled device and the data uploaded to The Cloud.

Agriyork400 Ltd sales manager Duncan Carmichael said: “David is a highly skilled master copyist who uses his skills to reproduce Picasso paintings and other famous artists’ work.

“The paradox is that he uses the tags to show that his works of art are genuine fakes! Because he’s signing these copies as the original artist and selling them for quite a few thousand pounds – he wanted to show in a trackable way that the work is genuinely his, especially as the copies are so indistinguishable from the originals.”

Duncan said BT’s rollout of high speed broadband had helped to make the tagging programme a success for the company which provides the service for a variety of customers.

Agriyork400 Ltd switched to a superfast connection last year and increased its broadband speed sevenfold.

The jump in speed and improved connection has helped the Agriyork400 Ltd team explore new innovative products like RFID and Duncan said it was the wider rollout of high-speed broadband across the UK that enabled them to market the service successfully to a number of their customers.

The fibre broadband network being rolled out in East Riding by engineers from Openreach, BT’s local network business, is open to all broadband service providers on an equal wholesale basis and so local households and businesses can benefit from highly competitive products and pricing from a wide range of service providers.