Saturday, May 01, 2004

My Top Ten Tips for Avoiding a Fraudulent Antique

Antique Trader Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2004 (Antique Trader Antiques and Collectibles)For you antique collectors out there: my top ten tips for avoiding a fraudulent antique:

1) If you purchase nineteenth century stationary or business cards like this one:

Scotsman Hotel
Scotsman Montana
Jason Purdy, Proprietor

Look for a URL. If a web address is included, the item is probably not genuine.

2) If you purchase an ancient scroll written in Latin or Aramaic, have it translated. Phrases like "tee shot", "SUV" or "Donald Rumsfeld" are the giveaways you're looking for.

3) If buying a shroud purported to have been worn by one or more religious figures from antiquity, take a long whiff of the fabric. It should not smell Downy-fresh.

4) A presidential letter written during the Civil War should never appear on three-ring binder paper.

5) Carefully study any nineteenth century photographic portrait. You can be almost certain that the photo is a fraud if any of the subjects are wearing "Survivor Buffs".

6) If considering a sarchophagus with an enclosed mummy, the ribbons of mummy-cloth should be free of dry-cleaning tags.

7) A 1914 Stutz Bearcat automobile in original condition will not have halogen headlights, a neon-enhanced undercarriage or an exhaust "fart pipe".

8) Degas never painted on black velvet. Nor were his subjects ever card-playing pets.

9) While Da Vinci was one of the most magnificent intellects in history, I am almost certain that his manuscripts never included any Excel Macros.

10) While he was a brilliant orator and battlefield general, Ceasar never appeared on C-Span.

These tips should spare you the embarassment and shame so common in today's antiques marketplace.

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