A primary difficulty I have encountered in the pursuit of my hobby is that of authentication.
How do you know that your artifact is authentic? As becomes readily apparent when perusing the descriptions in auction catalogues, even the experts can make mistakes. For myself the process of learning about you collection, through books, periodicals, lectures, museums, etc., is almost as much fun as seeing and handling the objects themselves.
I purchased this Indo-Persian buckler or small shield from an established dealer who asserted that it is an authentic 18th century piece, and not a more common late 19th century reproduction. The use of color, patina, and especially the exuberance of drawing and depth of detail are beyond those demonstrated by the reproductions which I have seen, and hence I suspect this piece authentic