New Movement in the Antique Industry
Its about time…Antique Show Manager , Dordy Fontinel of the Fall Hunt County Antiques Fair, (in Virginia) is rebelling against the influx of reproductions into the Antique Shows. All her shows now will be Antiques only…..and has asked her dealers to stand behind whatever they sell by issuing a receipt (with their name and address, and phone), describe and date the items, and inform the buyer of any repairs. Many of us in the Carousel business, that is all of the reputable dealers will gladly do that for you. We hope all dealers will follow her lead.
Our long conversation was very informative. Dorty proceeded to tell me that of those people buying on E-Bay, about 75% of all antique purchases are fakes. Now that is not E-Bay’s fault, what has happened to our society that has made it the norm to try and deceive, trick , our buyers with the intent of outright fraud. We need to turn this trend around….and educate the public.
Did you know in many states, (it needs to be in all states), it IS Criminal Fraud to sell a fake or reproduction as an antique. The merchandise should be labeled as such. You can contact your State’s Attorney’s office, or your State Senator office to find out. This is for any Antique.
Do you know What classifies and Antique…items must be over 100 years old, wood items, as furniture 50 years or older. Anything less is considered a collectible.
The Hobby Protection Act was passed in 1973, requires all new merchandise to be marked with country of origin and date…but most are not following even that. It is obvious these thousands of items, which have infiltrated event to the highest caliber Antique shows is meant to deceive.
Dorty is trying to band all dealers together , get television and publication articles, and get the FTC to not only recognize this problem, but do something about it. How will you feel years from now only to find out that the Depression Glass, or Tiffany Glass you have saved for years to retire with is bogus.
Genuine Antiques, Dorty has stated are the ultimate recycled items for the Green movement. So Go Green, buy an Authentic Antique!
How to tell a Fake Carousel Horse from a real one…
This column is to help you not get taken by being naive and uninformed. Your best approach to purchasing and Antique Carousel Horse is to be prepared. We always suggest you try to deal with an experienced, reputable Carousel Dealer. Many others will give you all kinds of stories ( and we have heard some gems), just remember the 1st rule….if it sounds too good to be true….it probably isn’t!
Please also remember there is nothing wrong with a Reproduction or decorator piece, so long as you are made aware that is what you are purchasing. The difference between these is usually quite a bit, unless you are really lucky.
1. If you do find a wood horse and want it to be identified or make sure of what you are purchasing, most Carousel people would be glad to help you…you should expect to pay for this service, this is what these people do for a living…… it is usually under $50. and would be well worth it to you to be sure.( We charge $25. and require photos of both sides of the animal , top , bottom , and any details on it. and $50. for a full history and details).
2. You should learn as much as you can, there are many fine Carousel books out there, we have several in stock too, and check your local library.
3. The Boats are in…several boat loads of reproduction carousel horses, and lately I have been seeing a small Cow, and a Frog, are appearing again in the market place. We reiterate, there is nothing wrong with these IF they are sold to you as Current carvings or Replaquias or Reproductions. These are decorative sculptures, not of investment quality nor have any provanance (history,lineage). These were NEVER on Carousels, but produced for the American market. Oh another new antique out is the copy of the French Bicycle (Veloipede) Horse). He has a Bicycle chain under his neck.
4. Most Antique Carousel Horse are Hollow, with the head, neck, legs, tail all carved separately, and PERMANENTLY ATTACHED. The ears and tails were never left detachable…..
5. Carving on the two sides of a Carousel Horse are not the same, since you did not see the inside of the horse from the viewing areas, the companies did not spend the money to have the horses detailed on both sides (except some English and European Horses). Jewels were usually on the outside only, but there are always a few exceptions.
6. Carousel manes were on the outside of the horse , just like a live one, not on both sides , not the same on both sides, does not look like they were carved with a little rake.
7. Authentic carvings are smooth and well finished, no chissle marks or rough areas.
8. The hole and pole go all the way through the horse and match up (except Track machine horses, they have no top pole).
9. Latest scam , is to strip the horse and leave it out in the weather to crack and age.
10. Coca Cola did NOT make any carousel horses, these are all illegal Mexican reproductions on illegally copied Coca Cola bases. They were never on carousels, and never associated with Coca Cola.