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I have found that there are a few things that continue to confuse me and bronzes are one of them. I am going to be completely honest with you. When I buy a bronze, to me it is always a reproduction and I would probably advise that, unless you are an expert on bronzes, you consider them the same.
Here is my dilemma. I purchased two bronzes recently, thinking they were reproductions, but the more I study them, the more it seems they may be the real thing. Usually with a simple phone call followed with an email and pictures, I can get confirmation on the authenticity of most items, but bronzes are different. After 45 years in the antique and collectible business, I still don't know anyone that I fully trust on bronzes. If fact, I usually find that most dealers are just as confused as I am on bronzes.
The two bronzes are by different artists, one by Alfred Bayre and the other by Caio Cassoli. Here is the problem. If you could find out that the piece you own was never reproduced, you would be safe in concluding that yours was an actual bronze by the artist, but this is almost impossible to do. Next, the reproductions are actual recasts of real bronzes, so unless you know the size of the real one, you can't make a comparison to see if one is a repro. So where does that leave us? I have to admit, usually confused. Yes, you can put it in an auction hoping that the people there will know, but what if they don't and yours is real and it sells for a 10th of its true value? I think you are beginning to understand why bronzes aren't my favorite thing.
If any of our readers know of someone who is knowledgeable on bronzes and might like to be on our expert panel, I would appreciate an email with their name and number. Believe it or not, on most of the items you call me I can give you an answer, and if I can't I know someone who can, but not bronzes.
I have shared with you that to test a bronze to see if it truly is bronze, you take a pin in an area that won't show or damage the piece and just make a small scratch. If it looks like gold, it is bronze but if it looks like silver, it is what we call white metal. Now you know as much about bronzes as I do. I am kidding because I can usually see quality and judge patina, but to say a piece is real or a reproduction is out of my league.
By being a member of the Daryle Lambert's Antiques and Collectibles Club, I will give you this promise. Working together, we will always find the truth even if it takes us a little time. But on bronzes that old saying is extra true “It is better to be safe than sorry.”
There are some great books on bronzes and you may want to see about purchasing some of them on Amazon, but buy them used because they are usually quite expensive and the used ones are just as good as the new for your purpose. It is easy to see what Amazon has by just clicking on their logo at the right hand side of this page.
My 220 page book about how to make money buying and selling antiques and collectibles is