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Author Topic:   Shiebler Fakes
Shhhh
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iconnumber posted 09-10-2001 12:19 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am new to silver (just a few years). My focus has been art nouveau flatware and jewelry by Shiebler. Early on I found a wonderful medallion Shiebler bracelet but I didn't buy it because of the price. A few weeks later I saw another identical bracelet but it appeared that Shiebler forgot to mark it. I was sure it was Shiebler's and since it was reasonably priced, I purchased it.

As I met more dealers and learned more, they informed me that my bracelet was a fake. At first I was sure that they were wrong. But then more than one dealer showed me the bracelet but with the Shiebler marks. I soon began to understand that there were also fakes which had the Shiebler marks!

The prices for Shiebler have continued to raise. Are the higher prices causing more collections to surface in the marketplace or are there more counterfeiters seeing this as an opportunity?

I know that making a flatware dye is an expensive proposition. But these Shiebler medallion serving pieces only use dies for the heads (medallion) and everything else is hand work. Every day there seems to be more of these medallion serving pieces on the market. Each piece is in excellent condition. And the vermeil has the look of new electro plating and not the subtle quality of mercury gilding. It would not surprise me if there is a living silversmith out there doing this. And to that silversmith I would like to say that you have great skill but I would rather see your own designs.

What do you think?

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jersey

Posts: 1203
Registered: Feb 2005

iconnumber posted 07-10-2009 09:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jersey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just happened upon this interesting old query. Does anyone care to comment?

Jersey

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Scott Martin
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Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 07-10-2009 09:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Allegedly there is a UK silversmith that has been repairing (for years) Shiebler serving flatware for several US dealers. A few months after the repair, a near identical piece of the Shiebler flatware apparently surfaces.

I spoke to one dealer who says that results are excellent. Side by side you can't tell the difference between the original and the newly crafted piece. The dealer wouldn't reveal the smith's name and claims to no longer send work to the smith.

For many years I have had my suspicions about the number of pristine serving pieces of medallion that keep surfacing but I haven't been able to come up with any evidence that supports a conclusion.

I suppose if someone was certain they had an original Shiebler and a newly crafted copy that by doing an x-ray spectrographic analysis of each would reveal far more trace elements in the older item.

Has anyone done this?

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 07-10-2009 11:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are factories in China that advertise on their websites that they can produce any design in flatware that is submitted to them. The advertised minimum quantity is about 1100 place settings in stainless. With the economy as it is, and with the advances in laser cut die technology, I suspect that the minimum can be negotiated down quite a bit. My gut reaction would be 250 to 350 pieces with a separate die fee.

Someone willing to broker such a deal is aided by the general phenomena that collectors of antique silver usually do not pay much attention to the market for new silver. So perhaps 100 Medallion servers leaked into the antique market with the remainder being sold as gift type items. The servers can have hand decoration that alters them somewhat so they don't look alike.

Google Chinese Flatware Factories to learn more.

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Scott Martin
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Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 04-04-2010 09:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the Shiebler obit I just posted click here (George W. Shiebler family plot), it says:

If x-ray spectrograph analysis were done on enough Shiebler items, we might learn there was a signature to the Shiebler metal mix. If it is distinctive enough then we might have a way to identify Shiebler fakes.

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