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  Mexican Jensen Copies?

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Author Topic:   Mexican Jensen Copies?
Brent

Posts: 1496
Registered: May 99

posted 12-11-2000 10:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[17-0177 08-0005]

A few years ago, at a large antique show in California, I saw a very nice "Blossom" pattern 3-piece tea set. It looked just like a Jensen set, right down to the real ivory handles. The marks, though were simply

Made For
Gump's
San Francisco
Sterling

Gump's was and remains a major dealer of fine silver, jewelry and other decorative arts, both new and antique. I believe they even carry Jensen silver today.

My question is, would Jensen have made silver for Gump's without marking it themselves? If not, who might have made this set, and how did they get away with it? The dealer who had the set told me it was a Mexican copy. Was Jensen silver copied in Mexico? If so, how much is out there?

Any information on this matter would be very helpful.

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1694
Registered: Apr 2000

posted 12-12-2000 12:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's probably not a Jensen set. I don't think Jensen would let a piece, especially something more monumental like a tea set, go unmarked; for one reason, many people would, without a doubt, not buy a set as Jensen unless it was so signed.

As to your question on Mexican copies of Jensen, I'm afraid there are many of those, ranging from jewelry to hollowware. I see a lot of spoons that copy Jensen's Blossom and Blossom-style patterns. They are marked with Mexican marks. Here's a picture of a brooch from Mexico:

Some serving pieces...

I found both of these in a couple minutes on eBay, just to show examples. I see many pieces in antique shops as well. Needless to say the quality is far below that of a real Jensen piece. My advice is never to buy anything as Jensen unless it has genuine Jensen marks (and there are fake marks as well).

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Brent

Posts: 1496
Registered: May 99

posted 12-12-2000 01:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for the info, as well as the warnings to wanna-be Jensen collectors. The set I saw was probably higher quality than most, but I am sure you are correct as to its origin.

Brent

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Ulysses Dietz
Moderator

Posts: 1259
Registered: May 99

posted 06-21-2001 09:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
See my comments earlier on Jensen USA. I might suggest that this set was made by William DeMatteo of Bergenfield, NJ, who was known to have made near exact copies of Jensen silver, because he manufactured for Jensen during WWII, and continued in the Jensenesque mode after the war.

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Janet Drucker

Posts: 21
Registered: Sep 2000

posted 06-21-2001 12:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Janet Drucker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ulysessis certainly correct. During WWll Mr. Lunning who owned the Georg Jensen store on Fifth Avenue in New York City could not obtain Jensen silver from Denmark so he commissioned De Matteo and La Paglia to make silver that looked like Georg Jensen. It was advertised as American silver in the Georg Jensen tradition. Americans hardly noticed that it was not marked Denmark. Only later on in years when families required appraisals on inherited pieces did many of them become aware of this. You can see these in the old catalogues of the Georg Jensen Handmade Store of 667 Fifth Avenue. Janet Drucker

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Janet Drucker

Posts: 21
Registered: Sep 2000

posted 06-21-2001 01:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Janet Drucker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As far as Mexican copies of Jensen - there were many made and sold in Mexico as well as in the United States. The Blossom pattern was copied most often but they are look alikes not Georg Jensen. Georg Jensen silver must have been made in Denmark- that is where the smithy has been since 1904 and is still there. Janet Drucker

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