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Ginni's Home > Collectors Circle Home > Bohemian Information & History > Fakes & Frauds Part I

Ginni's Collectors Circle & Bohemian Boutique

"Keramika a Porcelán Ceský-Bohémský"
(Bohemian and Czechoslovakian Ceramics & Porcelain)
Fakes and Frauds Part I
Famous Painters

Jump to: Fakes Part II - Royal Vienna >

Work Continues

Angelica Kauffmann Porcelain

Click an image to enlarge.

Artist Signed and Bindenschild - Beehive Marks

I am appalled at the many incorrectly identified pieces of porcelain on eBay. It confounds me how anyone can list an item for sale and not research it enough to accurately describe it. Some pieces are so easy to tell that the original artist or factory did not create them. This would be funny if it did not have such serious implications. Some errors are so blatant that one wonders how can it happen. I am an amateur collector; I can tell the difference. If I can tell the difference, then surely a professional can tell the difference. Dare I say if one is not an expert in an area, then do not make claims one cannot support? Many of these sellers sound so knowledgeable; one thinks it must be true.

The fakes and frauds are numerous. One can be generous and allow for an error by the seller. Yet, when as seller is advised of their error, many politely respond, but do not change their listing, and if it does not sell the first time, they will re-list it with the same bad information. At that point, one has crossed over from being a lazy seller into being a fraudulent seller by misrepresenting (lying) about the piece they are selling. Also known as, theft by fraud. If the sellers do not believe me, then they should do more research on their own.

These fakes create several problems. The first problem, when one lists a piece of porcelain on eBay wrongly identified, several other unknowing eBay sellers and buyers now have bad information about a mark and follow the first. Secondly, it is destroying the price of the authentic pieces. The authentic pieces no longer seem scare; their rarity is diminished. Finally, and just as important as the first reason, is that many of the so-called fakes or reproductions are high quality pieces deserving appreciation on their own merits, and not have to claim associations for it that are untrue.

Help stop the fraud: If you see a piece of porcelain listed on eBay wrongly identified, stop and write the seller. Let them know they are caught. If you like the piece that is misrepresented, stop do not buy it. If you truly want it, write the seller and tell them you will buy it after they correct the eBay listing. The sale of one fake only encourages more sellers to do the same.

This section begins with Angelica Kauffmann paintings, though there are numerous artists whose famous paintings are reproduced on porcelain.

Compare the differences between the photographs of the original oil on canvas to the porcelain.
Some of the painting reproductions are well done, but many are crude and easily detectable by an amateur.

Telemachus & the Nymphs of Calypso
black & white photo of original in museum

Click to enlarge images

Unknown, beehive


"Victoria"
Schmidt & Co

Unknown, beehive


"Victoria" Schmidt & Co

Venus & the Three Graces about 1787
photograph of the oil on canvas original painting

Click to enlarge images

Unknown

Riedl on Count Thun 1830-1895 mark
Angelica Kauffmann

Maria Anna Catharina Angelica Kauffmann (1741-1807). In Rontgen's book "Marks on German, Bohemian, and Austrian Porcelain," page 575 Rontgen discusses fakes. The book states, "Quite a number of urns, vases and especially plates are signed 'Angelica Kauffmann.' The paintress Angelica Kauffmann is not known to have decorated porcelain . . ." The motif includes her signature, but it is not genuine, she had long since died at the time these pieces were manufactured. Some of the reproductions have the artist's signature misspelled with one "f" instead of two. Alternately, I find it spelled with two "f" and one "n."

Angelica Kauffmann did water colors, oils, and chalk pictures on canvas and paper. She also personally painted murals on walls and painted furniture. Her oil paintings of mythological scenes often were reproduced on Bohemian and other European porcelain. There are at least eight Bohemian factories that made these plates, Porcelain Factory "Victoria" Schmidt & Co, Benedikt Brothers/United Porcelain Factories Meierhoffen, EPIAG Oscar & Edgar Gutherz, B Bloch & Co, Carl Knoll, Bawo & Dotter, and Ernst Wahliss "Bohemia" Ceramic Works made reproductions of Kauffmann's paintings, but did not use her signature. Several Bohemian decorators like Josef Riedl also did Kauffmann reproductions on blanks from area factories: Count Thun Porcelain Factory, Moritz Zdekauer, Josef Kuba, and EPIAG Fischer & Mieg. It should be quite obvious that Kauffmann, the renowned Swiss painter, did not paint the motifs on the above pieces when the Marks on the pieces have the country "Czechoslovakia." Czechoslovakia was not a country until 1918 when the Paris Peace Conference committee created the new country. Additionally, five of the six above factories did not exist until long after Kauffman died.

Often, but not always, the Angelica Kauffmann reproductions have a "beehive" style mark. The Imperial and Royal Porcelain Factory, Vienna, Austria (1744-1864), was never in Bohemia or Czechoslovakia. I have not found documentation whether the Royals’ factory, commonly called Royal Vienna, did reproductions of Kauffmann’s paintings. See Fakes Part II for more information about "beehive" marks and fakes.

Motifs of Kauffmann’s paintings are seen frequently on pieces listed on eBay, GoAntiques, RubyLane, and other sites. The sellers sound quite authoritative in describing the pieces and have hundreds to thousands of positive feedbacks on eBay. Every day, there are a number of falsely described pieces on auction sites. Some sellers, but not all, correct their descriptions when advised of their errors.

Still though, even if antique experts consider these pieces fakes, they are beautiful, often with much gold trim, and some are of the highest quality. After getting the seller to change their listing, buy one, but know what you are buying and appreciate it for what it is and rather than what it is not.

A Display of 153 Angelica Kauffmann Paintings
The first painting is hers, the next two are for another artist; the following three pages are hers.
Angelica did many more paintings than those seen on this one Web site.

Other Painters

Coming soon!

Kauffmann is not the only famous painter whose work has been copied on porcelain, another is Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806).

The Imperial and Royal Porcelain Factory, Vienna
Kk Aerarial Porzellan-Manufaktur Wien

Commonly referred to as Royal Vienna

Fakes & Frauds Part II - Royal Vienna
Now Started!

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