I am on a mission to reveal a Chinese manufacturer who is selling ‘Art Nouveau’ objects, because I keep running into their merchandise that is being sold off as genuine antiques all over the world. Some resellers are aware, others may be not.
This summer, while on vacation in Croatia, I visited an antique market with my family. I noticed a beautiful Art Nouveau center piece (exactly like the one above) and asked the seller for a price. I then asked him if he knew more about the object, like where it came from, as something seemed off. He said it was genuinely old, and turned it around to show me the maker’s mark. I laughed and asked him if he knew this was made in China, and not an antique…. He then admitted it was sold to him as a piece from the ’70s or ’80s. But something snapped; that was the last straw for me. This has to stop.
Years ago, when I ran into one of this manufacturer’s vases for the first time, I searched the world wide web for more information about the vase. And after some digging, this is what I learned…
A respected collector of ceramics investigated some strange objects that he – just like me – had come accross and found suspicious. He wrote about his discoveries on his website Porcelain Marks & More: “The items were high-priced and most of them came with a peculiar background story. All pictures of the mark WL1895 showed it perfectly stamped and colored, something that was impossible to achieve during the claimed production period.” You can read the whole story about his initial discovery here.
Then he continued “The JBT mark popped up in 2009, shortly after the WL1895 mark had been identified as repro mark and business in that sector collapsed. The business responsible for the JBT mark is definitely not hiding or doing anything illegal, but sells the same brass/ceramic contraptions formerly sold under the WL1895 brand. On top, it sells everything from so-called Tiffany™ lamps over porcelain figures and ship model replicas right up to framed art. For obvious reasons I do not mention the exact location or company name of this importer / distributor as some dubious resellers would merely use this information to add a new supplier to their list, but rest assured that I have visited the company showrooms more than once (for educational purposes only, of course).”
So there you have it! All the pictures in this post, I came across on the www last night alone. But I have seen these objects in respected auctions and on antique markets being sold off as original antiques for a number of years now. And I want people to be aware that they are not antiques. These are reproductions, imitations, fakes…
So please, spread the word and help me raise awareness!
If you like these items, that is just perfectly fine. Pay as much as you like for these reproductions. But be aware of what you are buying! These are nót antiques. These are new and Made in China.
Please share this information with as many platforms as possible so google can find the information too when someone is searching for background information on a lot.