Faberge EggThe Moscow Times reports that at least half of the items in circulation on Russia’s antiques market are fakes and collectors are being cheated out of millions of rubles each year.
The number of counterfeit items changing hands has skyrocketed for several reasons: many Russian dealers have a “flip and run” mentality, collectors generally distrust police and will not report that they’ve been scammed, and authorities find it difficult to prove intent to defraud in cases where sellers have been brought up on charges.
Even some expert appraisers are said to be contributing to the rapidly escalating problem. The appraisers are nearing retirement age, are short on money from having spent their careers in low-paying, state-run institutions; and are finding it “hard to resist the temptation of bribes,” the article said, quoting a noted art market observer.
At least one major auction house in Russia is taking a proactive approach to ferreting out the fakes. Eastern European Antique House provides collectors with access to a panel of three trusted independent appraisers and the services of a top-notch laboratory.
Faberge EggWhile expensive, the evaluation option is nowhere near as costly as paying thousands – even millions of rubles – for an artwork that was created in one of Russia’s many covert counterfeiting studios.
Absolutely the real thing, this magnificent 1908 Faberge Alexander Palace Egg resides in the Kremlin Armoury Museum in Moscow and is a superb example of Russian artistry of the early 1900's.