Fakes and Reproductions:
Can you easily recognize a fake or reproduction of a Wedgwood Fairyland or Lustre peice?
Do you know the difference
between a fake and a reproduction? A "fake" is an item that looks similar to an authentic piece and has similar markings,
but was deliberately made to deceive buyers and no collector wants to spend his or her hard-earned cash on a fake item regardless of the cost.
A "reproduction" will also look very similar to an original piece, but it will bear the new manufacturer's mark,
and it isn't falsely aged to look like it was made in an earlier time period; it is not made to deceive.
It's not uncommon for a modern company to buy and use the moulds of older companies that
have gone out of business or no longer producing a particular line of goods.
Sometimes the original manufacturer will reproduce a newly created vintage line or individual/Limmited Edition pieces several decades later, as
Wedgwood have in fact done. These pieces are also not made to deceive and many times will bear somewhat different markings from the original
vintage pieces and may also include a certificate of authenticity. Some people do collect reproductions, especially since they can be less
expensive than rare or hard-to-find items
and this is fine.
So how do you know if something is the "Real
Thing"? Your best defence against being fooled by fakes is to know as much as possible about your particular area of collecting.
If you can recognize the authentic makers' marks within your collection and understand the correct colours/patterns of the time
period you collect, you'll be armed with the best defence against fakes and forgeries.
All Wedgwood Fairyland and Ordinary Lustre would have the Portland Vase Mark. Earlier peices
would be without the three stars beneath the vase. From 1900 onwards With the three stars under the vase. Printed in various colours.
ENGLAND was added to the Wedgwood mark in 1891, to meet the requirements of the U.S. customs regulation know as the "McKinley Customs Administrative Act".
Armed with your knowledge wedgwood you then have the advantage
and would easily be able to determine the authenticity of a piece
when visiting antique stores. You would know and see that the actual colour and shape
is what you are expecting and you can hear if there are any chips or cracks in porcelain by "pinging" the edge
of the item with your finger nail and you can feel the quality of the material it's made from.
When shopping online, you have to depend on the descriptions given by sellers.
If you're interested in a piece that isn't accompanied by a detailed description,
ask the seller for whatever information you need to help you determine if the piece is real.
All repitable dealers and auction houses will give you as much detail and history of a
particular item as is available to them and will welcome any questions, so don't be frightened of asking!!