Why do people try and take advantage of others at this time of year? I believe that it is because some get greedy and let their standards become lax during the holidays. I would have to say that 50% of all the items that have been presented to me in the last 30 days have been either outright fakes or reproductions.
This trend is extra important to you as your inventory begins to increase in value and the items you purchase become more expensive. Most of my readers who have been with me for awhile could absorb a $100 mistake but one as large as $1000 would hurt. There are many ways to protect yourself from people wishing to deceive you and I will share several here.
First, if someone offers you a piece at an unreasonably low price, be careful because usually something isn't right. I was offered a painting from the 19th century by a well-listed artist. I knew that the person was trying to con me but still you want to be sure so I did all the correct things, including asking where the painting came from and requesting a good description of it. Always ask for good pictures of the front and back plus one of the signature for you to examine.
As I expected, when the pictures arrived the canvas was new and stapled to the stretcher. No guessing here, it was a new piece meant to fool the unwary. But this doesn’t just happen with paintings. Art glass is another story because anyone with an etching tool can turn a Coke bottle into a Tiffany, right? I was shown a vase that was of very little value. It didn't even have a ground pontil but there it was as big as life, that Tiffany signature. If it doesn't look right, be on your guard.
What a great time this is to pawn some new reproduction toys off on someone. In a hurry, you might just overlook that the piece has Phillips head screws in it or that the paint is just too good. That old rough casting might not catch your eye or the fact that it is improperly signed might escape you. When you get home with that treasure that you paid $500 for and discover that it is in the reproduction catalogs and could have been purchased for $25, your stomach might turn. Time is on your side so never be rushed to make a decision. When dealers tell me that if I don't buy an item right then and there the next person will, I usually tell them that I hope the buyer enjoys it.
The old saying about thieves in the night doesn't cover the ones you will be dealing with because they love daylight and guess what, they don't have to go back to their caves when the sun comes up. There is nothing of value that isn't being faked or cheaply reproduced, ladies handbags, watches, jewelry, documents, signatures. I could go on and on but I think that you get the picture.
One of the greatest benefits you receive by being a member of the Daryle Lambert's Antique and Collectibles Club is that we will do our best to prevent you from ever being fooled by a fake. If you send us a picture, we will give you our opinion plus offer other ways for you to check the item out. Money isn't easy to earn and the Club tries to give its members all the tools necessary to be successful so let's not let others take advantage of us now.