inNovember 29, 2007 - 5:10pm
Some shop owners list contemporary reproduction items in their online shops even if they know that a piece was originally produced to deceive because they believe it to have been made in the 1950's or 1970's. Should the item be questioned for being a reproduction they will then ask, "This item is more than 20 years old, what's the problem with me listing it if I state the age I believe it be?"
Somehow the fact that it is believed that an item was made more than 20 years ago, which is often a very incorrect assumption, is felt to make the item acceptable. This is also an incorrect assumption.
Some online antiques and collectibles sites such as Ruby Lane require collectibles to be "true collectibles, at least 20 years old, of high quality, authentic, and not reproductions." Even if a reproduction item may have attained an age of 20 years it would still be a non-authentic reproduction. Regardless of presumed age, the limitation on non-authentic merchandise still applies.
The fact that a fake item may have attained an age of 20 years does not relieve it of the necessity of also meeting other stated requirements.
Others claim the contemporary reproduction's status as a 'collectible' makes them acceptable. But this status is strictly a conjecture on the part of any seller of novelty reproductions. Are there dedicated collectors out there seeking imitation items to add to their collections? No. In truth, collectors of any given class of established collectible objects will eschew reproductions and fakes of the articles that fall within their collecting niche. The active sharing of information within concerned collecting groups is often aimed at helping one another recognize reproduction items in order to avoid them.
Any collector who desires to accumulate a collection of note will continually strive to add only authentic pieces of higher value and interest and will avoid any that are damaged, more common, easier to acquire or are of lesser quality than items already within the collection. Knowingly adding reproductions, imitations or fakes to their portfolio is not a consideration most dedicated collectors will even contemplate.
If no established collecting group would be currently and actively seeking contemporary fakes, fantasy items or reproductions, what is the point in having them proliferate and crowd out authentic items, which are much harder to find and provide to buyers? Contemporary reproductions are a novelty, to be sure, but there are no price guides for them which might assist in establishing potentials for future value, and there is no precedence which has been publicly set in the collecting world at large which might newly sanction the act of collecting them. No merit is established for them. These types of items should not be listed in the Collectibles lane.