Large 18" Royal Crown Derby Old Imari Lidded Vase/Urn

This example is proof of the need to remain constantly alert to avoid the pitfalls of copies and fakes, imported in increasing numbers. This type of item can present a challenge even to the most experienced shop owner, as it pretends to be a specific type of ware which may be outside their specialist or everyday field. Researching a new acquisition online lays further traps for the diligent buyer since the reliability of the information found can be variable at best. Cyber whispers can perpetuate an erroneous ‘factoid,’ incorrect information and pictures being copied trustingly from site to site, until they gain the status of established fact – the same ‘truth’ established by so many other sites thus becomes incontrovertible lore.

This vase, presenting itself as Royal Crown Derby, might pass a casual glance; it is all too easy to look but not to see, and we all want to believe our geese are swans. However, a few moments thought and a more careful inspection will reveal the first tell-tale clues that all is not as it would have us believe. The pot is large and eye-catching, the strong Imari colors attempt to mislead the eye and draw focus away from the ungainly, brash nature of this vase, especially apparent as soon as direct comparison is made with the genuine article.

Within this listing we have included images to make such a comparison possible. Compare the fine and careful modeling of the authentic pot: the finely wrought handles with the internally sculpted spiral, against the ‘that’ll do’ lumpen nature of the handles on the fake. Note, on the real thing, the elegant line to the cover and finial, the manner in which the cover sits confidently in its housing. Then contrast this with the brassy nature to the other cover, which perches but does not settle.

The careful design of the gilding on the cobalt blue ground of the genuine Derby is distinctively foliate, contrasted with the random and careless application of the gilded decoration visible on the foot of our imposter, a section of the pot more generally left ungilded in authentic factory pieces. Additional factors compromising the suspect vase are the coarse quality and application of the gilding itself and the absence of supplementary painter or gilder marks. Although not readily apparent from the pictures available, with better quality images, the faults in the application of the pattern decoration itself and the difference between the Old Imari of the fake and the authentic Derby would be self-explanatory.

With the growing problem presented by these fake goods, an initial trickle grown to a flood on their worldwide markets, manufacturers are ever more zealous in seeking out and destroying cheap copies and outright fakes, whether they be designer handbags, catwalk gowns or fine china. Royal Crown Derby is no exception in its robust defense of its reputation and, since the factory will impound any item presented for, but failing to pass, their validation, the wise shop owner will always suspect the deal that is too good to be true. The alternative is an expensive way to learn, too late, that your goose is actually a turkey.

Measures 18 inches tall.

Item ID: 2007RP000211

Modern Reproductions, Fakes and Fantasies


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