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Author Topic:   Wollenweber silver
mitko07

Posts: 47
Registered: Nov 2005

iconnumber posted 08-04-2016 05:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mitko07     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[26-2585]

Hello Everybody!

It may be little bit unusual request but I need a little bit of help and support.
in short - I recently sold this [at auction].

The buyer received it in the photographed and described condition. For some reason changes his mind, claims that "the item is not antique and not authentic" and wants to return it even though I do not accept returns. I spent hours communicating with him showing that his claims are absolutely ridiculous. It is absolutely clear to see that the item is absolutely authentic and if possible a replica of such item in such detail and quality nowadays will be useless and crazy expensive to make in one piece.

Anyway I was wondering if you guys can help me with opinions regarding the piece and advice. I will be happy if someone with good knowledge of German silver gives his opinion- otherwise all opinions are welcome!

Thank you in advance!

quote:
This is a beautiful Art Nouveau Silver Jardiniere / Centerpiece This is a wonderful Silver Jardiniere / Centerpiece made by Edward Wollenweber, Munich,Germany, ca 1909. The jardiniere was a gift from or to the Swedish legation of the German Kaiser (Emperor). The jardinieres pierced bowl stands on six pillars and has floral wreath decorated rim and handles. It has finely hand engraved dedication on both sides "9. Juni 1884-1909" and Coat of arms of German Empire "Kaiserl. Gesandtschaft Stockholm". Marked with Ed. Wollenweber mark, G, Moon and crown German silver halmarks, 800 for the silver purity, other symbols and #6531. It excellent condition considering the age -missing glass liner! Measurements: 16.1 cm high x 42.5cm wide x 22.6 cm wide . Silver weight 1238 grams.


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Kimo

Posts: 1577
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 08-04-2016 11:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am not an expert on German made silver or this maker so I cannot say anything about that aspect. On the other hand, regarding the engravings, they seem to have been done by a somewhat inexperienced hand or maybe an apprentice in the way the letters are a bit uneven and not artistically spaced. Also, the German eagle appears on my computer screen that perhaps it was not actually engraved but stamped or etched or something? Do you have any other examples or photos of examples of this kind of engraving on German government presentation pieces of this era? Is this the quality of engraving that the government accepted when they gave official gifts to other governments? Are there any period photos of this presentation from back in the day? Is there a solid line of provenance? I do not know, I am simply asking a question as to whether this could possibly be added engraving to a period object.

If everything turns out to be correct, then you have a decision to make as to whether to make an exception to your policy of no returns or not. If the price that was hammered down in the auction was not overly high due to a bidding war, perhaps you might make an exception and re-auction it where you would expect to get pretty much the same price so there would be little or no loss of money to you. This might preserve this buyer as a future buyer with you, and avoid his telling all of his friends not to deal with you. Or, you could stick to your position and you would be justified by doing so, though there could be a greater cost to you in the long run in terms of losing a customer and having that customer tell all of his friends and perhaps even his social media people bad things about you even though they may not be deserved at all.

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mitko07

Posts: 47
Registered: Nov 2005

iconnumber posted 08-04-2016 12:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mitko07     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello Kimo!

Regarding the engraving - it is all done by hand - the eagle and the dedication. There may be a little difference in the spacing, but this is close up photograph of an inch by inch and a half area. The engraving probably have nothing to do with the manufacturer - it was probably custom made for the respective institution with presentation purpose.

Anyway, it is not about the engraving - the buyer already has the piece half way across the globe and he claims that the item "looks new", made in the last 6 months, not antique etc. I gave him numerous references with similar items and other explanations. The item is absolutely authentic.

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Kimo

Posts: 1577
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 08-04-2016 01:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the clarification. As I mentioned I know nothing about the silver of this maker from this era so I cannot comment on that aspect, though your point about making something like this today being cost prohibitive is well taken. I assume it sold for less than the cost of making it today.

One other thought, I can see what the buyer is saying about it looking relatively new. Was this object ever subjected to dip cleaning and/or perhaps a bit of buffing to polish it out? Dips can remove most of the patina by cleaning out all of the tarnish in the nooks and crannies that constitute most of an object's patina. Buffing can remove the micro scratches and rubs and that constitute most of what is left of a mostly removed patina. The result is something that is of its age but looking relatively new.

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mitko07

Posts: 47
Registered: Nov 2005

iconnumber posted 08-04-2016 02:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mitko07     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The item has not been buffed, but cleaned in detail using silver paste, microfiber cloth, toothbrush etc. It was offered as scrap because of the missing glass insert and sold for about 3 times the cost of the silver itself.

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Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11202
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 08-04-2016 04:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Suggest to the buyer to sell it to an under bidder.

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mitko07

Posts: 47
Registered: Nov 2005

iconnumber posted 08-04-2016 05:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mitko07     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I actually already did that - no result. thanks for the suggestion Scott!

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agphile

Posts: 798
Registered: Apr 2008

iconnumber posted 08-06-2016 10:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for agphile     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I’ve been slow to join in because I am no expert on German silver so cannot comment on whether the item in question is “right”. I agree that it seems unlikely to be a brand new piece with fake marks. I own items that look new even though they are over 100 years old – the result of having been kept in storage rather than subjected to regular use.

I am not an Ebay seller and I don’t buy much on Ebay because, however honest and accurate the description and however good the photographs, I am usually a little disappointed when I receive the item. I guess that is my fault for letting myself become overenthusiastic. There is no substitute for being able to handle a piece before committing yourself to its purchase. However, I don’t let buyer’s remorse tempt me into blaming the seller.

On two occasions I have successfully asked fpr my money back because the items were fakes. The first was just about my earliest Ebay purchase. I suspect the seller was trying it on by listing the item with pretty poor photos. Before claiming, I showed it to a couple of nationally known experts and was able to quote them when making my claim. The second time was more recent, when I was more confident of my own knowledge and was able to explain in detail what was wrong with the item. It was not a question of simply saying it looked too new and shiny!

I guess what I am saying is that, when there were clear photographs supporting the description, I have little sympathy for a buyer who claims “fake” without either hard evidence or expert support. There are things I might have wanted to check out before committing serious money to the item in question, e.g. how the style and the marks, which are clearly photographed, compare with other known examples by the same maker, but that is not to suggest I believe there is something wrong.

However, en passant, I wouldn’t describe the piece as Art Nouveau, but the good photograph shows its style quite clearly.

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Kimo

Posts: 1577
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 08-07-2016 11:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Agphile is correct in his aside that the design is not art nouveau and that the description to that effect would be inaccurate. Your item is very regency in design. One cannot always go by dates when determining artistic styles as older styles do carry over into ears of newer styles for people who prefer more traditional designs. However, Agphile points out that the photos that we assume that you would have included in your auction to show this nice piece would have let any buyer know exactly what it was on which they were bidding despite the title in the auction.

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mitko07

Posts: 47
Registered: Nov 2005

iconnumber posted 08-08-2016 11:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mitko07     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for your opinion agphile and Kimo!
I appreciate your time!

The whole argument and reason for the return request between me and the buyer ware his claims that the item "not authentic", "new, made in the last 6 months".

As for the style - while it may be difficult to determine it as typical Art Nouveau / Jugendstil of the later and softer shapes of the crystallized style- the item does have decoration( Laurel wreaths)which was influenced by and used on many Art Nouveau items. I am not saying that the whole construction of the item is the pure Art Nouveau. There were other styles popular at the time and transitions between them. Do a quick google search on " Art Nouveau laurel wreath" images and will see!

I was actually asking for opinions if you would consider the item fake etc.

Thanks

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Kimo

Posts: 1577
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 08-08-2016 01:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Mitko.

Art nouveau was a rejection of the classical styles, of which your silver is an excellent example. Art nouveau is characterized by natural forms and structures, not only in flowers and plants, but also in curved lines and sometimes women with flowing hair and clothes. Very often it is asymmetrical. Please look up art nouveau on wiki as there are many images there of objects that are art nouveau and illustrate what it is.

best regards,
Kimo

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ahwt

Posts: 2022
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 08-08-2016 05:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think I would look at the rules on the auction house where you listed the item. They may have some resolution procedures concerning your dilemma. I have never sold anything on the internet so I really don't know what the answer is.

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