James Edward Little

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Born in Torquay, England in 1876, James Little became an antique and curio dealer. While never venturing into the South Seas he became adept at forging Polynesian artefacts by stealing and copying artifacts from museums around England. Many of these forgeries were subsequently sold to many museums and collectors all round the world. Little covered his tracks by selling authentic items as well as fakes, trading on the ignorance of buyers.
Little enlisted in the British Army, Royal Engineers as a private soldier in 1915 and saw service overseas. He was discharged from the army in 1919 for health reasons. After a period in a Bath hospital, Little remained in Bath as an antique dealer. His past caught up with him in 1939 when he was found guilty of stealing artifacts and sentenced to twelve months imprisonment. He returned to Torquay on his release and lived there in poverty until his death in 1953.


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