A Curse Fueled By Greed
© Copyright 1999 by R.H.Capers
The response to the original "Prussian Thoughts" has been so overwhelmingly positive that a revised version is definitely in order. Not only have collectors provided positive comments re the article itself, they have also been emailing pictures of marks with accompanying items they have seen, but which were not presented in the original version. Therefore the following has been re-written (only where absolutely necessary). This revision primarily concerns itself with re-structuring the pictures to achieve a more logical order–there will no longer be just a loose rogues gallery of marks presented–they will be shown by groupings. In other words: R.S.P. Wreath marks; R.S.G. Wreath marks; R.S. Suhl Wreath marks; R.S. Poland Wreath marks; R.S. Wreath marks, but not annotated underneath; etc, etc!
For a considerable time now, a "curse" has fallen on the American antique market! The greed of the market place has created an offshore and onshore industry which is flooding the U.S. with cheaply produced and rather shoddy copies of our beloved Prussia. Unfortunately, many so-called dealers are now pushing this stuff as the "real McCoy" instead of calling it what it really is — Repro Junk.
To the experienced and knowledgeable collector who can literally spot this repro junk at fifty paces in any darkened "upscale" Mall or Mom & Pop Shop, this stuff initially serves only as a mild distraction. However, in the long run and for the beginner or casual collector who has seen precious little of the real thing, this can represent a real threat to the wallet! It can also adversely influence people to shy away from this highly specialised area of antiques out of fear of being cheated by less than honest dealers!
It is particularly annoying to find Repro Junk in so-called "Antique Malls" where often the only antiques to be found are the floor staff. Their merchandise usually only represents the leavings from garage sales, and nothing more! But, at least, you still have the option of touching before buying–this being your ultimate last line of defense before actually putting money on the counter.
Now, we are entering the cyberspace market of various internet auction houses. While these offer the computer literate consumer a readily accessible national and even worldwide market, the individual buyer has lost this ultimate last line of defense! Therefore, the consumer must rely on what is presented on the screen. So, we’re back to the basics — We must know the mold, the decor and the mark to be absolutely and 100% positive the item offered is the “real” thing.
To assist both experienced and new collectors, I have assembled a “collection” of Repro Junk Fake Prussia Marks as seen recently and even currently on the Internet, from my files and from fellow concerned collectors. The following are presented in a left/right format–in other words, the mark will appear on the left with its associated item on the right–all you need to do is scroll down through the pictures to see just how many different and varied fake marks are wandering about on the market.
I hope you gain and learn something from this effort! In addition, it is strongly recommended you expand your knowledge of Prussia by acquiring the available subject matter books–as presented elsewhere on this Website. By becoming a knowledgeable collector or dealer you are not only becoming more personally professional, but you will be of great assistance to those with whom you come in contact!