Fakes – Discuss or Surpress?

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
finnclouds
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Re: Fakes — Discuss or Surpress?

Postby finnclouds » Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:51 pm

And a final comment: the above explains my lack of interest in Russian silver & why I don't think I'll buy the Postnikova. I'm not sure how much even the correct marks matter anyway. Who's to know what happened with Faberge's punches didn't happen with others -- inside the new-ishly minted Soviet Union? Surely the Soviets must have cottoned onto Hammer's little side game. They might have had all kinds of old assayer etc. punches (or been able to remake them) PLUS access to the stuff Hammer didn't -- the precious jewels and gold and unlimited (forced) silversmithing labor.

Pure speculation, of course, thanks to an unusually vivid imagination. :-)

Qrt.S
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Re: Fakes — Discuss or Surpress?

Postby Qrt.S » Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:23 pm

Do you think that the Soviets had the needed goldsmith skills to produce objects in Fabergé, Khlebnikov, Gratshew, Morozow.... quality even if the had the punches? During and after the revolution most of the goldsmiths had fled abroad (many to Finland), were hiding somewhere, been sent to Siberia or even executed. Who made the objects and what fore? All valuable was confiscated and put in the Kremlin vaults. Later the communist government started to sell these valuables abroad in order to get hard currency because they were unable to feed its people, all gulaks had been killed. You see the country was suffering from a disastrous famine. They had to buy food from abroad. Later when the situation was stabilized what you stated could have happened but the WW2 started and again the country was back in square 1. There is, however, very little poof of such fake production if any. But currently the market seems to flood with Russian counterfeits but the generating country is not Russia.

From another Finn also with vivid imagination but also some knowledge of history in between......

have a nice evening

Qrt.S.

Silbersammler
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Re: Fakes — Discuss or Surpress?

Postby Silbersammler » Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:54 pm

@ Postnikov
Thanks for your kind words.
Last week I was visited by a goldsmith, to whom I showed the items. He drew my attention to the details of why this work could not possibly be of Faberge. He said Faberge is just perfect. In a book I had not seen these differences.
You learn the most experienced collectors, here in the forum or even better if they personally know.
The friend on whose advice I had bought the pieces, was experienced with silver, but not with Faberge and Russian pieces.
You're absolutely right with your own rules of conduct for beginners.

I personally will not buy any more Russian silver in the next future. But I still have many pieces in my collection of which I would like to introduce the dubious items here in the forum, even at the risk of waiting that further disappointments.

Kind regards from germany
Steffen

finnclouds
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Re: Fakes — Discuss or Surpress?

Postby finnclouds » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:17 pm

Well-- having studied Russian and spent time there, I also know a bit of the Soviet history. So I know for instance that the official history used to change with every change of leader to the extent that the old guard was purged from photos. And I also know enough to realize that the fact that the general population is starving has never stopped the elite from living well -- anywhere in the world.

Please note I fully attribute my misgivings to my overly active imagination. All I'm saying is that Russians have never been stupid. Mikoyan was Stalin's Minister of Foreign Trade. The great Stalin purges when hundreds of thousands of people were being sent to the gulags and killed took place in 1936 -1938 - just about the time Victor Hammer is talking about in the above quote. Surely there could have been one or two skilled silversmiths still to round up inside the Soviet Union, too? Why get only kickbacks if you can get the whole hog?

finnclouds
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Re: Fakes — Discuss or Surpress?

Postby finnclouds » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:30 pm

Sorry for the double post but one more thing -- Qrt asks

Do you think that the Soviets had the needed goldsmith skills to produce objects in Fabergé, Khlebnikov, Gratshew, Morozow.... quality even if the had the punches?


Victor Hammer makes it clear above that if you had the authentic punches, you could get by with mediocre work-- and sell to a great profit.

Qrt.S
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Re: Fakes — Discuss or Surpress?

Postby Qrt.S » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:48 am

Yes your are so right finnclouds. However, the question of quality must not be obliterated. Anyway, the thing is that there has always been and will always be buyers that don't know what they are buying. On these sites I and some others have often stated that "If you don't know what you are buying don't do it/leave it /run!". But still they buy and as long as they do it fakes will exist.

Have a nice day

Qrt.S

Qrt.S
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Re: Fakes — Discuss or Surpress?

Postby Qrt.S » Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:33 am

Ayayayayayyyy, I read this thread again and carefully and one particular statement caught my eyes, this one: "....who had taught Faberge and was capable of knocking off objects in the Faberge style. ..." What is strange with this extract I may ask? The answer is that not a single object made by Karl Peter Fabergé himself during his whole lifetime is known, he was only the manager.... !!! Now I may ask what did this guy taught Fabergé? I don't know who this Armand Hammer is, but in my eyes his statements are more than strange I would say!

Postnikov
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Re: Fakes — Discuss or Surpress?

Postby Postnikov » Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:09 am

Hi -
just to bring some facts for the uninformed, uniterested or anoyed:

Armand Hammer (1898-1990) was born In New York, the son of Russian Jewish immigrant Julius Hammer, who in 1919 had helped to establish the first revolutionary Leninist organization in th USA. Julius collaborated with Ludwig Martens, who headed the Russian Soviet Bureau, an unofficial diplomatic mission for the fledgling Bolshevik government in the USA. Armand, named for the arm-and-hammer symbol of the Socialist Labor Party, graduated as a medical student and made his first trip to the Soviet Unio in 1921. Hammer declared the visit to be humanitarian in nature ("planning field hospital relief work among the famine refugees"), but in reality he went to collect a business dept on behalf of his father, then serving a prison sentence for performing an unsuccessful abortion.

Image

For more information about this very dubious person and his ways to make money in very different ways with the Bolsheviks and American Millioners please read the very interesting book : Fabergé in America by Géza von Habsburg. Unbelievable stories! Than you understand how forgeries , Russian silver and the antique mark developed worlwide.

@ finnclouds: books cost money - but knowledge is power :-)

Regards
Postnikov

finnclouds
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Re: Fakes — Discuss or Surpress?

Postby finnclouds » Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:17 am

@ finnclouds: books cost money - but knowledge is power :-)


Yup --and the stories in some books are pretty near incredible. I have a couple of books about Hammer but will look up the one you recommend. It would be interesting to know what actually happened to the punches and how long Hammer's guys kept on using them.

Ort--I noticed the same thing when I read the excerpt. The book I'm quoting from was published after both Victor and Armand Hammer had died, in 1992. Victor was recounting events from the 1930's to the author (Hammer's PR man) in 1965 or so. Not sure how much about Faberge's history was known in those days -- or how much Victor cared/remembered or how accurately Blumay retold what Victor said. Faberge (and especially his brother) did make sketches and directed the work, of course.

silverly
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Re: Fakes — Discuss or Surpress?

Postby silverly » Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:42 am

Regarding the mention of Armand Hammer's official purpose for visiting the Soviet Union in 1921, his passport application in 1921 has no mention of visiting the Soviet Union that year. The passport was issued for the purpose of visiting England, France, Holland, Norway, Sweden and Holland for commerce and pleasure.

Qrt.S
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Re: Fakes — Discuss or Surpress?

Postby Qrt.S » Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:34 am

This is getting more and more unrealistic and confusing. Would somebody care to explain to me how this Armand Hammer could make an application for his passport to visit Soviet Union in 1921????????????? You see the Soviet Union didn't exist until as from 1922. This fact too puts the rest of the Hammer "legend" in a very awkward situation. silverly is on the right track. Somebody has produced rubbish! In addition, too incredible stories are usually made up.... wouldn't be the first time.

I'm vivid but I also have a very skeptical attitude

Qrt.S

Dad
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Re: Fakes — Discuss or Surpress?

Postby Dad » Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:59 am

Hi all,

May i say about my opinion? The opinion of new member of forum.
You speak correctly, on the one hand.
With another, what doesn't allow to the fakemakers to study under the same books which are read by you? Professional fakemakers study very much original material . You don't teach them. I consider, the forum target — to give knowledge, to teach, help. A maximum that can really make a forum — to save from purchase of a rough forgery or to specify the doubts on certain points (1 … 2 … 3 ….). The photo isn't object of examination. The real examination is gained only by the real expert for money, instead of the anonymous author from a forum which risks nothing.
If you say that a brand false you should explain the doubts.
For example: How much I can trust a categorical word «fake» from Postnikov, if he considers original his fake( “made in Brighton Beach”), and instead of gratitude — closes a theme. viewtopic.php?f=46&t=18383
But if he tells why it is a “fake” then I will understand him or another.
Don't judge strictly is my opinion. I hope you will understand my English ;0))))

Best Regards.

finnclouds
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Re: Fakes — Discuss or Surpress?

Postby finnclouds » Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:01 pm

Hammer talks about going to Russia (summer of 1921) in his own book. I think those talking about Soviet Union are simplifying, to draw a line between pre- and after-revolution Russia. Hammer claimed he was going to Russia for humanitarian reasons and, as silverly correctly states, did not even mention Russia/USSR on his passport application. The facts of the trip are well documented as e.g. Scotland Yard stopped him from disembarking in Southampton and confiscated some films he had, supposedly industrial espionage material meant for the Russians.

oel
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Re: Fakes — Discuss or Surpress?

Postby oel » Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:16 pm

Armand Hammer 1921 visited:Российская Советская Федеративная Социалистическая Республика or Rossiyskaya Sovetskaya Federativnaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika.
Plenty of information about Armand Hammer you can find on the Internet. Any way, the discussion is about if the 925 'experts' on the Russian silver forum should discuss / 'teach' Russian fakes. Qrt.S and Posnikov are our known 'expert' for 925 Russian forum. Regarding Russian fakes both Qrt.S and Postnikov made a clear statement on the forum. They both have knowledge and both personally decide which knowledge could be shared and which knowledge should be kept under embargo. Fair enough I should say.
All has been explained over and over again, plenty warnings have been given, to start slow, study and invest money to obtain knowledge about the Russian Hallmark system. Please keep "we do not discuss fakes on this forum" and let the real Russian silver lover do his own homework. After he or she will know where to get the right answers and where to find the right assistance.

Kind regards,

Oel

Qrt.S
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Re: Fakes — Discuss or Surpress?

Postby Qrt.S » Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:16 pm

OK, fine but let's forget about Hammer. He is only one person (dubious one) among many others. We are bit out of topic now so let's revert to the issue. Is it or isn't it wise to explain why a fake is a fake. As I said in the beginning I don't think there is an absolute and/or unambiguous answer to this questions. There is also a point in Dad's saying that fakers undoubtedly study and read whatever possible sources to improve their faking skills and not only 925 :-))))). And there is is also some truth in saying that explaining why it is a fake at the same time teach others to be more careful and not buying in good fate whatever junk that carrying "Russian marks".
Somehow I feel reading all these cons and pros that I might slightly change my own rather strict opinion not to explain anything about a fake mark. I might explain more in the future, you could thank Dad for that :-). But in return I'd like to see more genuine objects instead of fakes.

The problem is that this site has during the last year, half a year turned into a "fake-explaining-site" and I dislike that. I'd rather like to see and examine genuine fine Russian objects shown by proud owners asking for more information about the object itself, the maker and as well the assayer. Seeing such things would also be learning as well as "teaching". Somebody mentioned that you are not allowed to touch objects in a museum. Therefore you usually cannot see the marks, but here you can see them "alive" so to say and that is a good thing. Well you see some fakes too, that is probably unavoidable..................

To Dad: Don't worry, we understand what you write, if not, we will ask you what do you mean.

Postnikov
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Re: Fakes — Discuss or Surpress?

Postby Postnikov » Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:17 pm

Hi silverly - Hi finnclouds
please read attentiv and do not believe what Hammer´s PR man wrote! Why? Think a little.....

I continue:

While in Moscow, Hammer, with the acquiescence of Lenin, succeeded in obtaining asbestos mining rights in the Urals for twenty years, the first such concession awarded by the Soviets to an American. Further agreements with Hammer´s firm, Allied Drug and Chemical, covered a shipment of 18,000 tons of American surplus grain to the Bolshevics (soviet Union does not exist!!!!) in exchange for Sibirian furs, precious stones, hides, lace, rubber and caviar for sale in America. Quite by chance Hammer´s first office, rented at USD 30 per month, was located on Kuznetzki Bridge in a building that, as we all knew, once had housed Fabergé´s Moscow shop. By 1923 Hammer had build an import-export empire. He was a purchasing agent for American agricultural machinery and exclusiely represented up to 36 American companies in the now Soviet Union. During Lenin´s New Economy Policy (NEP) of the early 1920s, Hammer was treated like royaltry by the Soviets, (remember the famine, terror, decline of economy, lack of educated agricultural people - the kulaks had been eliminated -, gulags etc. Please have a look into your history books to understand the situation: Lenin did everything to get money (USD) to buy grain!) who hoped to attract other Western investors. In the absence of U.S. diplomatic relations, (the reason why hammer´s passport application did not mention a country which did not exist - the Soviet Union was still not founded: History!!) Brown House, the opulent Moscow domicile occupied by the Hammer family, became an unofficial American embassy, housing visiting politicians, film stars and celebrities. Following Lenin´s demise in 1924, the revenues from Hammer´s import-export business fell from USD 6 million in 1924 to USD 1.5 million in 1925 due to restrictions imposed by the Soviets on foreign businesses. This loss was offset by revenues fom a newly acquired pencil manufacturing concession, which in 1925 produced 72 million graphite pencils and 95 million steel pens and grossed 8.5 million rubles 1 ruble= 52 cents) 1927 by. This business in turn was confiscated in 1930. In 1928 Armand and his antique - dealer brother, Victor, began to dabble in Russian art. Anastas Mikoyan, then commissar for domestic and foreign trade, first offered them exclusive rights to American sales of paintings from the State Hermitage Museum, for which they would receive a 10 percent commission. The same year the Hammers unsuccessfully bid USD 5 million on behalf of a consortium of dealers, headed by Joseph Duveen, for forty masterpieces from the Hermitage. To handle their Russian art sales, Hammer founded the Ermitage Galleries at 3 East 52nd Street in New York. He claims to have collected several warehouses full of Russian art throughout the 1920s, which he was permitted to export against payment of a 15 percent customs duty. In 1930- 31 Hammer transferred what he describe as his private collection of imperial treasures from the Soviet Union to the U.S., including ten Fabergé imperial Easter eggs from the Kremlin armory.

Here I will stop because this thema is too hot for me.

Mr. Forbes was one of the best customers and after his death his collection was offered by sotheby´s but suddenly withdrawn (???) and bought by an Russian oligarch, who presented it to the Russian people - in this way he could avoid a long inprisonment for crimes agains the Russian economy. Later experts from the Ermitage discovered that two of this eggs were fakes.( What makes them fakes was a inventory scratchmark, usually on all objects sold in the different shops - but objects custom made for the Czar need no invetory number!).

There are many, many insider stories I heared from stuff of the Ermitage and Russian collectors - but it is better to wait maybe 30 years until all the participants are dead.
Very digusting.

Regards
Postnikov

Postnikov
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Re: Fakes — Discuss or Surpress?

Postby Postnikov » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:09 pm

ДОБРЫЙ ВЕЧЕР Dad -

and welcome to the site. I am very glad that we have a new supporter and Russian silver lover!

Our discussions have only one objective: to find the truth. Nobody knows everything but many reasonable opinions will solve nearly every riddle.
In my eyes there are two kinds of contributors: one reads only books and documents - the other does the same but have a large collection, where he can go and compare.
In Germany we call it : theory and praxis.
Both kinds are neccesary - only theory is not working - and only praxis is not working too.
And very important: if you make a mistake you must accept the facts!

We all do our best - let´s go to work!

By the way: fakers getting better and better but they do mostly not always have examples of all the objects they fake - or do you believe that fakers have a cupboard full of Fabergé, Ovtschinnikov, Sazikov, Khlebnikov etc. etc.? So when you can compare with the original you have an big advantage!

Regards
Postnikov

finnclouds
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Re: Fakes — Discuss or Surpress?

Postby finnclouds » Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:32 pm

Code: Select all

There are many, many insider stories I heared from stuff of the Ermitage and Russian collectors - but it is better to wait maybe 30 years until all the participants are dead.


That hot, huh? Maybe I can pick your brain about that stuff on some other venue at some point. :-) The stories are what makes silver addictive to me. (Ordered the Faberge book you suggested--all of $2.94 -- more my speed than the Postnikova.)

Sorry about the sidetrack for all bored to death -- I posted about Hammer to show there are all kinds of spurious/fake items possibly floating about. At least I didn't go into the tons of man-made diamonds the Soviets sold DeBeers as mined ones in the sixties.

On a plus side -- I guess you guys now know my handle enough so that if I have a stupid question about an item someone is asking about on another board, and I tell you why I (with my limited knowledge and resources) think it is fake, you'll say da or nyet. At least if I don't make a habit of it. :-)

Postnikov
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Re: Fakes — Discuss or Surpress?

Postby Postnikov » Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:55 pm

Hi finnclouds -

there are no stupid questions - only stupid questioners (sorry, must read - questions)! :-)

Postnikov
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Re: Fakes — Discuss or Surpress?

Postby Postnikov » Fri Oct 29, 2010 5:32 pm

Hi-

more information: The Secret History of Armand Hammer

http://www.theforbiddenknowledge.com/hardtruth/armand_hammer.htm

Regards
Postnikov


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