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tline3open  Fakes revisited

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Author Topic:   Fakes revisited
June Martin
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Posts: 1223
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 09-03-2007 02:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for June Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We had an interesting conversation with a dealer at the Baltimore Show this weekend. For some time we have been suspicious about the flurry of items showing up in the market that had previously been rarely seen such as mixed metal pieces and the more highly desirable American flatware patterns. We suspected that some clever contemporary smith was reproducing such work. The dealer we spoke with told us that a very accomplished English smith is casting pieces that come in for repair. The casting is apparently done so proficiently that the cast piece is almost impossible to tell from the original including makers’ marks. The only tell tale is that the cast pieces can be more weighty than the originals. As of this writing, we’ve been told that the smith has not yet perfected the copper patina on the applied elements but this is probably just a matter of time.

The above is anecdotal. Does anyone have any real evidence to support the above claims?

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Cheryl and Richard

Posts: 154
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 09-05-2007 05:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cheryl and Richard     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We also were warned, in Baltimore, about the fakes coming out of England - primarily Tiffany, we were told. Of course there has also been a bit of new Shiebler around in recent years.

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DB

Posts: 252
Registered: May 2006

iconnumber posted 09-06-2007 10:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wonder if all these warnings are urban legends, a long time ago I was told by a reputable dealer of American silver that all these fakes "come up from Canada" - at a time when we here in Toronto were hard-pressed to find a decent repair man for silver.

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agleopar

Posts: 847
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 09-06-2007 12:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agleopar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From a makers point of veiw , fakes have to be scraping the bottom of the barrel!
The only thing I have seen that qualifies as a fake is the tired 1730 London lighthouse coffee that had a new body. It was probably engraved and erased 2 - 3 times and overpolished and a thin gauge to begin with.
After 250 years it almost seems reasonable to cut off the lid, spout, handle ferrules and bottom, seam up a new body and solder it all back together a la the original.
I had it in the shop to clean for an estate and was excited to show it to an English dealer of 50 years for an apraisal. He being elderly and having bad eye sight picked it up with barely a glance and said it was a fake!
The weight was what told him that it had been refurbished!

As for fakes that cross the line of forgery they can be done but it only makes sense economically to do it to the top end. So I would pay attention to flatware that can be cast.
Was there a very good artical in SILVER magazine that covered this a few years ago for one maker?

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 09-09-2007 01:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As I researched the stainless steel now on the market, I did run into an English company that is producing some collectible American patterns in stainless. AIR the firm also had these available in sterling. Because of our policy of not promoting sales, I did not make a note of this.

However, Googling might lead to the company. In addition, I found and posted that several Chinese companies do offer to make copies of any pattern if you commit to 1,000 place settings paid in advance. It is not clear what they would charge for a serving piece. Also, the Chilean company I discussed specializes in reproducing to order. And they do mixed metal.

If these are coming in in quantity, someone is selling them wholesale. And I bet they have a website. Will start looking around.

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June Martin
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Posts: 1223
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 09-09-2007 01:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for June Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks all for the input. I realize this is a bit of a sensitive topic. Confirmed sitings of high end fakes could well put a damper on the market. As always, caveat emptor!

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 09-09-2007 01:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just did a little research on this. Our South American firm offers to reproduce any piece of silver. They also offer confidentiality. I also found a company in Germany that has the same.

In researching contemporary liturgical silver, the makers remain a mystery. There were pictures of traditional items, or reproduction, made by someone who really knew what he was doing. The makers were described as 'Traditional European Silversmiths' and 'Eastern European Craftsman'. That's the whole description. The items were deliverable within 2 or 3 weeks which would indicate produced to order.

So, there are sources that will reproduce and do a good job. With a quick google I found a company that offers a reproduction of a Faberge pattern and another that has what looks like Wood & Hughes Japanese (single motif tho).

I suspect that the way to work this is for someone to inquire about having something reproduced. Ask if the smith has any experience with this type of production. Might get some very interesting anwers.

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June Martin
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Posts: 1223
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 09-10-2007 10:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for June Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Dale. This is all quite disconcerting. We all need to really be on our toes!

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