Sorry, but just got too busy this week, so no new post.
I search online from time to time to see what’s being offered for sale, including French cameo glass. Somewhat unsurprisingly, a large percentage of it is either authentic, but low quality, or authentic and cut down, or reproduction. How is a novice supposed to tell? The simple answer is that a novice cannot tell.
Here are a few examples from this week’s listings.
Grogan & Co. is a reputable auction house from Boston, Mass. They listed two lamps for their May 5th sale, lots 274 and 275, as authentic Gallé, when in fact they were modern reproductions. As of this writing, they were still listed for sale on liveauctioneers, but not on their own website. They found out the items were reproductions and they removed them from the sale. That’s what a reputable auction house is supposed to do.
How about the vase pictured above? It’s on liveauctioneers advertised as SIGNED EMILLE GALLE FLORAL DESIGN BOWL by Redlands Antique Auction of Redlands, CA. Technically they’re correct. It is a floral design bowl and it is signed Gallé (not counting the misspelling of Emile), but it isn’t old. I don’t know the auctioneers from a hole in the wall, so I have no idea if they’re uninformed or sinister. A novice would have no idea about the authenticity or age of this bowl. It’s actually a pretty good repro.
It’s painful for me to look at the reproduction Daum Nancy vase pictured above. It’s soooo bad. But Washington Crossing Fine Arts and Antiques, Washington Crossing, PA, think enough of it to offer it for sale on liveauctioneers with an estimate of $1,800 – $2,000.
There’s a sucker born every minute (possibly said by P.T. Barnum). Even if he didn’t say it, it’s true. Make sure you’re not one of them. Buy only from reputable dealers and auction houses, even if it costs a few bucks more. At least you’ll be able to sleep well at night.
No shows until May when we’ll exhibit at the Chicago Antiques + Art + Design show at the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago. It’s a beautiful show in a wonderful venue. The dates are May 14-17, 2020. So put it on your calendar and make plans to visit. You’ll thank me.