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Author Topic:   ortega silver
iconnumber posted 04-29-2004 12:58 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a large ortega silver lazy susan (421 troy onces). It is reported to have been made for Carlota of Mexico circa 1860. Is there anyway to corroborate this [snip ... SM]

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Ulysses Dietz

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iconnumber posted 05-24-2004 08:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Reportedly" is a dangerous word. First you need to be sure that the object itself is authentic and of the period. Then you have to look at the evidence. WHO reported this imperial history to you? Where did he or she get it from? Vague verbal histories such as this are, unfortunately, pretty worthless, unless there is some printed or written documentation - or something, such as an imperial coat of arms or cipher - on the piece itself. There is no way to corroborate vague "traditions of ownership" without documentation; even an old auction catalogue in which this piece is described or illustrated, and given the history of ownership of Carlotta, is something (tho' not much). Now, there may be an inventory, somewhere in some archive, of the silver that Maximilian and Carlotta owned before the downfall of their tragic and misbegotten empire. But it's not anything I would know about. You'd need to do extensive research into Carlotta herself and find out what is known of her possessions. Are there collections in Mexico City of things that belonged to Carlotta? Corroboration is not a magic wand that curators can wave and thereby authenticate provenances. Objects, sadly, lose their histories very rapidly, as soon as people stop leaving written documentation and rely on oral history.

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