(REVISED AUGUST 2011)
SELLERS WHOSE NAMES APPEAR IN ITALICS ARE REPEAT OFFENDERS
CLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO ENLARGE
ATTRIBUTION AND PROVENANCE
When you see these words, watch your wallet and your checkbook. "Attributed to" and "with provenance" is showing up more frequently now and pretty much means nothing. "My brother told me he saw a lamp just like the one I have hanging in my kitchen at the local museum". Now it is listed on Ebay and is attributed to Tiffany. Provenance should tell you where the item has been since it was made and whose hands it has passed through on it's way to being listed on Ebay. The second owner "attributed it" to Tiffany and then the third, fourth and fifth owner carried that down and all of a sudden, there is no more attribution and it has magically become Tiffany. Nothing beats an opinion from a knowledgeable, respected and known Tiffany expert and if it is your money, it takes the risk out of buying something you know nothing about.
BEST OF THE WORST
The four items shown immediately below are the newest listings from ANTIQUE-FREE-FOR-ALL and they are all listed as Tiffany. As usual with this Maryland based seller, none of them are Tiffany and none of them are signed Tiffany. If it is brass, bronze, glass or a bottle of catsup, they list it as Tiffany. If the seller does this with Tiffany, he surely is listing other items incorrectly also. Even with Ebay's new and very relaxed feedback rules, this seller stands out with 34 neutrals and 30 negatives in the past 12 months. Of course this seller hides behind the PRIVATE feature as do many of the worst sellers on Ebay. Do not believe what their listings say and carefully read their feedback before you even think of buying anything from them. This seller has been profiled several times before but nothing seems to have changed. Their listings are an excellent example of deception. The items below sold for $307, $81, $89 and $118 so there were few believers in the seller's claim to Tiffany. Seller also uses the name GOODIES-FROM-GRANDMA and also calls everything Tiffany. Must have re-activated this account as the feedback is 100 percent but if you look down a few lines to a year ago, it is the same pattern of negatives, neutrals and complaints.
FROM TIFFANY TO QUEZEL
On a previous page you can view a vase that was first listed by ENTOURAGE1 as a genuine piece of Tiffany and it is shown on the site because it is not Tiffany. No problem, the seller relisted it as Quezel and it sold to someone who bid it up to $684. What is Quezel you ask? No idea but we think it was meant to be listed as Quezal but it is not that either. This shows what happens when a seller with no conscience meets up with a buyer with no knowledge. All the buyer had to do was to read the seller's feedback.
THE MODIFIED PAPER RACK
A reader forwarded copies of e mails regarding the sale of a Zodiac paper rack (above right) currently listed on Ebay and identified as a 1083. Photos sent from seller SAYAUSTIN show the number on the base to be 1030 and also show that there are many screw holes where screws are missing. Further checking found that two of the dividers are missing and have been replaced with two pieces of glass which are described as "Tiffany straw glass" whatever that is. The buyer was notified and furnished photos of a correct 1030 and has done absolutely nothing to correct the listing to show that the piece is not genuine Tiffany and conveniently did nothing to explain the missing screws. It has again been relisted with no mention of the correct number or explanation for the modifications.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
There are hundreds of pieces of glass offered on Ebay as "signed Tiffany" but who is this Tiffany that signed these hundreds of pieces. Only a few of them are signed by the real LCT and the rest of them are signed by thieves who have stolen his signature. All a seller has to do is place one of these fake and fraudulently signed pieces on Ebay and list it as Tiffany signed and the bids just roll in. A perfect example is the pulpit vase shown above that was listed by CIRCLEDSALES, a frequent contributor to this site. Ten bidders, twenty one bids and $610 later, another fake is sold to someone who never thought to ask if the signature was guaranteed to be genuine Tiffany. Of course it sold for less than 10 percent of what a genuine Tiffany pulpit vase would sell for and 10 times what the piece is actually worth. Signed "Tiffany" does not mean genuine Tiffany. That is the difference.
CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?
How can this be? The first photo is of a lamp offered by JAMIECOHEN961 over 14 months ago, the second photo is a lamp offered by CHARSUTHERLAND in November of 2007, the third photo is a lamp offered by TTVANHORN0 in March 2008 and the lamp on the right is of a lamp offered recently by AMNYEHUDA0. All of these sellers have 0 feedback, live in completely different parts of the country and as you can see, they all have used the very same photo. The most recent listing lasted less than 24 hours and was removed by Ebay when they became aware that the seller does not even exist. Another similarity is that all four lamps are fake. When you buy on Ebay we suggest you do the due diligence as Ebay "is just a venue" and you will be the one writing the check.
It is being reported that Ebay was fined $61 million in France for damages to the French company LVMH, makers of Louis Vuitton leather goods, Dior perfume, and more. They claimed 90% of the products sold online under its brand names were fake. They believe that Ebay does not do enough to keep fake merchandise off the site. Ebay said they will appeal. In another French case, Ebay was fined $31,400 for not protecting sales of Hermes handbags. Tiffany & Company in the United States has also sued Ebay in New York and that case is pending. Collectors have been trying to get Ebay to remove fakes quickly but have been frustrated. With Tiffany Studios fakes, only the buyer gets hurt.
For more fakes click
here for PAGE 13