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Be Aware of Fakes: How to Tell a Dunhuang from an Imitator

Official Dunhuang Chinese Musical Instruments

Traditional Chinese Musical Instruments by Dunhuang are specialty items that are coveted by professional musicians and collectors alike. The beauty of these instruments and the quality associated with this brand have lead to imitators and knock offs. Like all the best brands in purses, watches and designer clothing Louis Vuitton, Rolex and Prada have long been copied for black market sales. As an authorized vendor of authentic Dunhuang instruments we want to inform our customers on how to spot a real Dunhuang and avoid getting ripped off with a fake!

There are several key tell tale signs that a Traditional Chinese Musical instrument is actually an imitation. Here are signs to use to help identify an authentic Dunhuang:

1. Look for the Logo
Each Dunhuang has a logo included on each instrument. This small sticker (shown in above header) is bright green depicting an Asian woman floating in the air playing a stringed instrument. There is an "R" incased in a circle to denote the registered trademark. The company name is included in Chinese writing below. It is a unique oblong/square shape with gold foil trim.

2. Packaged Branding
Dunhuang instruments come packaged with clear tape that was etched with the manufacturer's logo and name in white. This extra detail ensures that your instrument was packaged in the factory and sealed with this tape for authenticity.

3. Quality Closures
On some Traditional Chinese instruments, such as the Guzheng, closers tuck away the fine tuning. Authentic Dunhuang instruments are made with solid brass hinges and have magnetic closures. The magnets offer a better quality because regular latches vibrate during play and can negatively affect the sound. If the Guzheng doesn't have the magnet closure, there is a good chance it's not a Dunhuang!

4. Certificate of Authenticity
The most important aspect of identifying an authentic Dunhuang is the certificate of authenticity. With each instrument comes a certificate with a serial number to establish its authenticity. This certificate can be found within the packaging or within the instrument itself (such as the back interior of the Guzheng).

5. Dealer Network Listing
Sellers of authentic Dunhuang brand musical instruments can be looked up on the manufacturer's website Dunhuang-Yueqi.com. If you are looking for an indication of authenticity check this dealer network page prior to making your purchase. MusicOfTheOrient.com's parent company Web Direct Brands Inc. can be found under the United States listings.

6. Craftsmanship is the #1 Guide to Authenticity
Quality craftsmanship is one of the most important indicators of a true Dunhuang brand musical instrument. Imitators may try to copy the design or theme but Dunhuang skilled craftsman have the upper hand when it comes to quality. The key to spotting a real one is in the details like German steel strings which are colored (fakes aren't colored), higher caliber of the carvings and the carefully chosen wood grains.

Music of the Orient has experience identifying authentic Dunhuang traditional musical instruments. If you have any questions about an instrument you own or one you are considering buying, we'd be happy to review images of the item and help determine its authenticity. This FREE service is available via e-mail: Authentication@MusicofTheOrient.com

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