Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fraudsters & Tricksters

My friend Jody over at Couture Allure Vintage clothing has a stellar blog post from the other day. Visit her blog, Couture Allure.

Unfortunately, the vintage business is not immune to fraudsters and tricksters. Within our circles, lie the fraudulent labelers...those who sew high end labels in clothes and sell them as originals. There are some great tips in Jody's article about what to look for and I highly suggest reading it if you are thinking of purchasing that Dior piece you can't live without!

For fans of the Antiques Roadshow, some of you may recall the case of the Watermelon Sword. Two of the appraisers were fired and later charged with fraud in regards to an antique military sword.

The popular appeal of Antiques Roadshow relies on those magic moments when someone learns that a relic found at a garage sale or in an attic is valued at tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Gasps and surprise with great glee accompany their discovery!

The watermelon sword appraisal was a highlight of the first season of Antiques Roadshow. An Alaska man showed a rare Confederate sword whereupon he told the appraiser that he found the sword in his attic and had used it to cut a watermelon. It was appraised at $35,000. Unnamed appraisers who were in attendance immediately reported that the incident appeared to have been staged, and that the man's story was false.

And on public television no less! Buyer beware.

The appraiser who was fired (on the left), Russ Pritchard III, staged the whole forgery.


Pearl Westwood said...

Gosh I hadn't heard about that! There are fraudsters everywhere! Will check out the post, I did a post with some tips on spotting fake Chanel, it amazes me the things people get away with!

Couture Allure Vintage Fashion said...

Thank you so much for including a link to my article about label fraud in the vintage and used designer clothing industries. I appreciate you helping to get the word out!