What has happened to people? It seems like everyone has become flat out lazy, take the easy way out, put no effort into anything and to hell with whoever it hurts along the way.
This ideology is driving me up the walls. I am not just seeing it in a certain age group either. It is spread pretty equally amongst every age group, race, religion, etc. Laziness and ineptness has become epidemic in the United States. Let someone else do the work as long as the proverbial "I" benefit from it.
I see it quite often among so called antique dealer's. They find themselves a "treasure" that they are unsure about and instead of researching it they slap a name to it, put it up for sale at a ridiculous price and some poor soul buys this piece ... believing and trusting in what the "expert" says about it. Then come to find out the "expert" has sold a piece of trash that was made yesterday in China.
Every item I am unsure about that I offer for sale, in my online antique shop or the online auction site, has been researched. It does not go public until I am satisfied that it is what I think it is and until I know something definative about it. If I have any questions I am humble enough to admit that I don't have the answer or that I don't know the pattern name of the china, whatever the case may be. But I can certify that it is an antique or a vintage piece.
It might take me months to find the information I need but I am going to make that effort.
I recently had a very pleasant yet unsettling conversation with an avid and educated Limoges collector and seller. He had purchased 2 different pieces on ebay from two different alleged "antique dealer's." When he received the first piece he knew straight away that the piece was not an antique. The second piece was not as easy to identify as a new piece. It took him several months to locate the information he needed to verify it as piece recently made in China.
The marks on these allege antique Limoges pieces were PMC Limoges and PRC France. I am sure that there are pieces out there with variations of these two marks. PMC is Peoples Mainland China and PRC is Peoples Republic of China.
When the buyer contacted the ebay seller to inform him of the ripoff he was informed that the seller had purchased the piece from an local antique shop... as an antique. So the lie is being perpetuated by so called knowledgable experts. I prefer to call them lazy assed fools who just want to make a fast buck and not take the time to do a little research.
Another mark that has caused some confusion lately is the RPM Germany mark. As it turns out this is a decorating firm established in 1980, it is in Germany. But I have seen several online antique dealers and ebay sellers listing these items as being made in the 1930's and 1940's. Once again, folks are not taking time to do their research. The mark has the crowned eagle and looks like a KPM mark BUT IT ISN'T KPM IT IS RPM... there is a difference. None of the mark reference books list RPM so this is a clue that there is a problem.
Use some common sense. Any real dealer in antiques has a vast library of marks books, reference books of all types, magazine subscriptions, etc. A weekend seller of antique or ebay seller that occasionally dabbles in antiques does not have thousands of dollars invested in these resources so they guess or rely on work of mouth.... or websites such as mine.
I will get off my soapbox for now but this is a burning issue with me so I am sure I will bring this topic up again.