Original or Fake ?

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rickystl

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UPDATE. Well, the Auction is tomorrow, and there is already a bid posted for $3,600.00 !!

Rick
 

curator

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Rick,

I contacted the Auction House and they appear to have sent out a warning that this item is a reproduction. Antique dealers are not usually all that knowledgeable about firearms but they usually make an effort to avoid fraudulent advertising. If this is sold to a collector it will soon be recognized for what it is and the dealer's reputation will suffer.
 

rickystl

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YES, that's all we can do. That's at least two of us that have warned them. In this case, there's a good chance the Seller doesn't even realize it (?)
I wonder where MVTC found the original to copy from to begin with ? Maybe I should ask him ?
We'll see what happens tomorrow.

Rick
 

rickystl

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Well, it sold for $6,500.00 plus Buyer's Premium which will probably add about another 24%. WOW!!
Here is what a collector friend mentioned:

"If that happens and the buyer requests a refund, they better honor it. If it comes to a legal fight, and buyer subpoenas the auctioneer's records, they will have a hard time prevailing if two disinterested parties had previously panned it as a fake."

Rick
 

Flintlock1640

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I know this auction is long gone now but I wanted to chime in in case someone is looking at a similar one in the future. The screws were the first red flag for me but the trigger was the clincher. Never seen an original with a trigger like that. I find with horizontal sears they just hang the trigger higher and it is still a vertical trigger pull. I think 19th century shotgun when I see a trigger like what they had.
 

rickystl

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Hi Flintlock

Yes, that trigger is another give away. Have not heard any updates ref this auction, but I'll ask around at the Baltimore Antique Arms Show this coming March. Someone really got hosed.
I do have to admit, it is the best job of antiquing a replica I can remember. Wish I new who did it. LOL

Rick
 

Stantheman86

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My motto is: if you focus on shooting and not "collecting" you won't get burned.

I gave up playing collector years ago, it's just not worth it. Seen too much "Confederate " stuff at gun shows.
 

Flintlock1640

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My motto is: if you focus on shooting and not "collecting" you won't get burned.

I gave up playing collector years ago, it's just not worth it. Seen too much "Confederate " stuff at gun shows.
It depends on what you collect and how you do it. I find most early arms collectors go for the more "sexy" wheelocks and matchlocks. I collect early flintlock because for the price of one original wheelock lock I can buy a complete flintlock pistol and with luck more than one. I also do almost all of my buying on European websites. There are a lot of collectors that do not wish to deal with language barriers and international shipping. I admit it is frustrating to have a musket in customs for a few weeks but even with shipping I get items from Europe cheaper than a similar item already in the states. I don't collect modern custom made for the same reason, I can get several original arms for the cost of one modern, albeit lovely, long rifle or Fusil de Chasse.
 

Stantheman86

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I , about 20 years ago, collected military bolt action rifles and revolvers...it was fun , sank a ton of money into that stuff and I had 100's of pieces , some really rare stuff I won't name here because it's outside the scope of this forum but most of it I never fired.

I found that my favorite ones were mostly the ones I took to the range and fired, a lot of that was "beater" stuff that was 100% safe to shoot but had lots of service wear.

I realized that all that stuff was starting to own me, instead of me owning it.....power outage? I had to run home to make sure the dehumidifiers in the climate controlled basement weren't off too long, obsessively checking for rust.....took rare ones out to shoot 5 rounds through and had to treat them like they were made of glass. Checking and maintaining them became like a 2nd job. I left to go to Basic training when I joined the Army and had my parents mail me pictures of my rifle collection so I could look into my locker at night and stare longingly at them.

I decided I was more at home on the firing line than being a home museum curator so years later I kept my favorites and sold most of them off. I got back into muzzleloading and other stuff and I don't miss a single one of those old pieces. I hope they found good homes, some of those weapons saw use in 3 wars.....I got to be a part of their history but owning rare stuff is just not for me.
 

Rudyard

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Much as Curator has said correctly re museum marking .I have worked in a important museum where the 'Armourer' ex army and no doubt a whizz on Bren guns had dremelled into the guns there inventery numbers .And buffed off original lauquer from an else pristine powder flask from a 'Charles Gordon' cased set . . I had kittens but they thought fondly of the then retired Armourer . So it can happen from the' Cabinet d armes' to the Rotunda these stamping exist but fortunately seldom met with in modern museums . The pistol does certainly looks fake but some really clever stock ageing job if so .
Rudyard
 

Stantheman86

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You would think an expert in the field would instantly debunk this as a fake , and whoever paid $6500 for this thing is gonna be looking for a refund about 5 minutes after this happens.

Like the story where a collector had his collection of WWII militaria and weapons evaluated, much of it "SS" type stuff and 90% had fake markings applied to more common weapons or was an outright recently produced fake with "aging".
 

fossilledges

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I enjoyed the group's sleuthing on this one! I have one of these and it is apart right now. The stock still has the brass band and it has a lot of bone inlay. The downside is the overall condition which is not great, It's missing a lot of wood and there are many dings and dents to the the wood. I will try to get some pictures up, as I'd like to get some feedback as to which direction to go with it. Definitely Ottoman influence, I just don't know how old because of the hard use. I'm surprised at the auction info and description, I thought these were fairly common? --Dr. Paul
 

Rudyard

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What fossilledges got we can but guess . I do remember the pistol if fake it was clever .But since it hasn't come up as to what happened , again we are in the dark . 'Caviat Emptor' probably spelt wrong but means' Buyer beware' . Rudyard
 

fossilledges

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Agreed Rudyard, absolutely, modern fakes are generally reprehensible and not pertinent because of their intention to deceive for some profit motive. They are often worthy of study and that is why I love the way you guys sleuth out the details. By the end of the thread it becomes very obvious why the gun cannot be original and someone at an auction house is going to pay way too much. Thirty-five years ago when I was completing internships at the Wallace Collection and the Victoria and Albert, I had the opportunity to handle a number of Ottoman copies which were export to Europe and several hundred years old. They were of a good build quality, hence being in the collections. They tended to be a mix of parts because the East India stuff was ubiquitous and available. Regrettably I did not pay much attention to these pistols then because my interests were in matchlocks and the history of the trade and aesthetic influences with Japan. However, now I have a broader aesthetic appreciation, and when you find a firearm in near relic condition and missing parts, it piques your interest somewhat as to its history. The one I have, I received for free, disassembled in a shoe box from a family member of someone in my practice. The barrel is not original and as I stated, the wood is poor. It has led a hard life somewhere with significant legitimate wear. What I find intriguing though, is that it still has most of its bone inlay and the BEIC lock while pitted is an old one and an appropriate fit to this stock. I spoke to an old-timer friend today about trying to find a more correct barrel for it. When I can get some pictures together, I look forward to your feedback. I plan to work on it late Winter/Spring and am trying to decide on which direction to go. Thanks! --Dr. Paul
 

Rudyard

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Dear Dr Paul. You would remember David Edge then at the Wallace collection I think he's retired now V & A would be Claude Blair from memory . The Wallace collection had a large Eastern arms collection but was poorly catologued and persisted in calling miguelet locks 'snaphances' for example But Such collections often do contain fakes or embellished arms since the wealthy collectors wanted the fancy stuff and the Earnst Scmit.s and kindred fakers where happy to ' find' such goodies to supply them . Many major museums hold such pieces . Plus old collections such as the Lord Eggerton of Tatton items would be given or bought from people who told him what THEY thought they where or came from .Not nessesarily misleading by intent just what They believed them to be & from . Hence its a real minefield for the Student of Arms . Who if he actually knows his stuff will rarely make bold statements .( Such' bold statements' are as often the errors of the ubiquitous F. M .E five minet Expert !). Well practically the hallmark of one . I myself don't know beans about much ,But I can talk fast!.

More seriously it is a minefield seldom questioned until recent times . Some film footage on the Kingdom of Montenegro showed soldiers or tribesmen carrying old arms whether still then in use or ceromony but they certainly looked very plausable & not some theatrical arrangement . It ran on BBC if it could be stop framed as I expect is possible it would really be worth the effort since it puts a time & place provenance to such arms as they wore .Plus all the old Khanates are now much more open that in Soviet times . I cant get to such footage from NZ (Im'e a commputer clutz! ) but I expect you could ?. Regards Rudyard
 

fossilledges

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Greetings Rudyard, you are bringing back very fond memories of a simpler time for me, David was the Metals Conservator when I was there,he is the Head of Conservation now. We used to talk about fencing and he probably thought I was all over the place with my interests. Your memory is correct, Claude was at the V & A but not present much to us, I was supervised by Charles McKinley. The V & A was interested in our labor, and boy was there an endless list of to do items for the entire department. I also did some work at the Trinity College Archives under Lawrence Buttar. You are spot on with your observations about the Wallace Collection. I was a wide eyed American kid in my early twenties. We were much more interested in technical process than provenance. At the time, I had no knowledge or understanding of the Lord Eggerton Collection or know much about the Tower Collection. I see that Leeds now has the collection set up with the same type of archival drawers we utilized at the Wallace. I have fond memories of that Eastern collection but again, I was a young American student. The pieces were all dark stocked, highly decorated, heavy and shiny. But I got to handle them and I wouldn't trade that experience for anything today. I agree with you, scholarship is indeed a minefield for the Student of Arms! As I get older, I am increasingly aware that I don't know beans about beans but am at a more compassionate place regarding my learning curve. I didn't know anything about what I was about in my twenties but it was a great time to be a student with fewer cares of the world. Now, I have just retired and hope to regain some of that youthful curiosity, so thank you Rudyard for the memories and the inspiration! I look forward to being a student every day and avoiding the Five Minute Experts! --Dr. Paul
 

RAEDWALD

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The older and more informed (educated?) I get the more I find more and more things I do not know. At 18 I was an expert....

It was not by accident that the early days of antique gun dealing coincided with the end of the horse age throwing horse copers onto the job market. Our forefathers were just as clever as we and just as venal.
 

fossilledges

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That is the truth Bramm, I had never really thought about the connection with the time period coinciding. And of course it continues in the modern age. Used car dealers here in the states generally have the same negative stereotype for swindling people. Thank you! --Dr.Paul
 
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