Fake, fake, fake! 1854 patterns on Ebay and elsewhere

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Fake, fake, fake! 1854 patterns on Ebay and elsewhere

Postby admin » 22 Feb 2014 13:13

I am getting really annoyed that these fake Indian 1854 pattern infantry officer's swords are turning up everywhere at the moment, in antique auctions, on dealers' websites and on Ebay of course.

Here is an Ebay example that a number of very silly people are prepared to waste their money on:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ANTIQUE-BRITISH ... 1005868035?

Note that the seller 'major-tomm' states "THE SWORD IS 100% GUARANTEED ORIGINAL AND AUTHENTIC..."

major-tomm, shame on you. This is a well known Indian fake - these are easily recognisable, are being made right now in India and sold through companies like World Wide Arms and Weapon Edge. The Ebay example linked above has even been battered around in an attempt to age it and make it look more realistic. Pathetic.

How to spot these fakes:
- Stupidly shaped grips - look at originals and compare
- Leather grip covering instead of shagreen
- Crude etching that Victorians would have found embarrassing
- The proof club with a T under the word proved
- Six pointed star on BOTH sides of the ricasso (this was never done historically)
- Weird gradual decline to the end of the fuller and ricasso junction
- Dead straight blade
- If you handle them, they feel like a crowbar
- These fakes always use the VRI cypher, rather than VR
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http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

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Re: Fake, fake, fake! 1854 patterns on Ebay and elsewhere

Postby Jonathan » 22 Feb 2014 17:18

It is depressing how many dealers are fooled by these Indian replicas. Especially dealers who sell as many authentic swords as major-tomm and should really know better. This is the first repro I have seen from this seller, so I would give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he is ignorant rather than trying to cheat anyone. I always see a few of these at arms fairs here in the US, and somehow the dealers--who almost always deal in American militaria--are usually able to spot them as replicas. A lot of people who are fooled by these cite the quality etching! That always makes me laugh as it pales in comparison to even the worst Victorian etching.
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Re: Fake, fake, fake! 1854 patterns on Ebay and elsewhere

Postby admin » 22 Feb 2014 19:32

The worst aesthetic thing to me (apart from they way they handle) is that awful grip with the pommel that projects less than the fat centre. It makes me feel a little ill. Thankfully they all have this identically shaped grip, so once you know them you can spot them at 100 yards.
One UK dealer had one listed on their site - I emailed them explaining that it was a fake and sending them photos of identical ones, and they told me I was wrong and continued to list it on their site. Eventually it sold. :(
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

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Re: Fake, fake, fake! 1854 patterns on Ebay and elsewhere

Postby Jonathan » 22 Feb 2014 20:36

I have also advised a dealer or two about fakes. I have always been met with skepticism and dismissal. I think many dealers are used to knowing more than their customers and do not like having their perceived expertise challenged. Little do they realize how much we obsess over details! Additionally, I think we are in the minority of antiques collectors in that we also keep up to date on the replica market.
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Re: Fake, fake, fake! 1854 patterns on Ebay and elsewhere

Postby admin » 23 Feb 2014 22:55

I should add that aside from these 1854 patterns, there are a few other British, French and Russian fakes that are now commonly being seen. Ones I've seen quite a few of in the last couple of years are the British 1796 heavy cavalry sword, 1827 royal naval officer's sword, 1912 cavalry officer's sword - the French cuirassier swords (various versions) - the Russian shashka.
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

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Re: Fake, fake, fake! 1854 patterns on Ebay and elsewhere

Postby Jonathan » 24 Feb 2014 00:39

As well as the Indian-made basket hilts with T. proof discs and leather grips.
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Re: Fake, fake, fake! 1854 patterns on Ebay and elsewhere

Postby Monzambano » 30 Aug 2014 21:39

Thanks for the warnings!
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