A SMALL COLLECTION OF ANTIQUE SILVER
AND OBJECTS OF VERTU
THE WHAT IS? SILVER DICTIONARY

FAKES ON SILVER
RUSSIAN FAKES

There's a wide production of modern silver artifacts with fake Tsarist Russia hallmarks. They come from Poland, Ukraine, Romany, Hungary and other East European countries.
There are more or less three groups of fakes:
- Total fakes ( absolutely new): all the cloisonné enamel kovshi, beakers, cigarette cases, spoons etc. Niello (not real niello but chemical oxydised), Fabergé and fantasy, Judaica of all kinds
- Authentic Russian silver but "upgraded" with better names like Ovtschinnikov, Gratschev, Klingert, Fabergé etc.
- Authentic European silver (mostly Austrian and French for niello, German etc.) with erased old hallmarks and repunched with "new" Russian marks, mostly with the best names like Ovtschinnikov etc.
couple of spice containers (besamim)torah pointer (yad)
Preferred pieces are 'antique judaica' as torah pointers (yad) and spice containers (besamim) with bowing rabbi figures.
Many of these pieces are offered on eBay but they are also presented on European Markets by Russians and East European sellers.

dubious hallmark Moskow 1780 dubious 'Kokoshnik' hallmark
Usually they have 'kokoshnik' or 'St. George on horse' (Moskow) hallmarks apparently of the end of 19th or of the beginning of 20th century but I've seen some fake marks with 18th century dates.


PO (cyrillic) Pavel Ovchinnikov hallmark IKh (cyrillic) Ivan Khlebnikov hallmark
Another preferred field of counterfeits are the enamel on silver objects with preference for Fabergé, Ovchinnikov and Khlebnikov production.

Forgery ranges from Easter eggs to salt cellars, from cups and saucers to spoons and many other objects.
Identification of fakes isn't an easy task as usually they have acceptable manufacturing quality and taste ... but they are 'modern pieces' disguised as 'old pieces'.
Quality of hallmark counterfeit is usually good and identification of anomalies or errors requests experience and a bit of luck.

Below is an example of investigation on Russian marks


dubious hallmarks: assayer's mark not coherent with town marks coherent hallmarks assayer's mark 1850 town mark mid '800
hallmarks above left are dubious:
assayer's hallmark has date partially erased, but assayer is AK Andrey Kovalskiy active 1827 - 1856
St.George on horse towards left is hallmark of Moskow 1891-1896, incoherent with assayer's mark date
hallmarks above right are correct:
assayer's hallmark AK 1850
St.George on horse towards right is hallmark of Moskow mid 19th century

My advice is to look for how fresh the hallmarks are, they should be quite worn from over 100 years of wear. If you see clear impressions of those marks, that may mean they are modern reproductions.
Anyway, for objects and hallmarks illustrated on this page I use the definition 'of dubious origin' as a result of personal evaluations and knowledges of a small collector and NOT as an expert's opinion.
dubious  
hallmarkdubious hallmark dubious  hallmark dubious  hallmark dubious  hallmark dubious  hallmark
dubious  
hallmarkdubious  hallmark dubious  hallmarkdubious  hallmark
dubious  PO (cyrillic) Pavel Ovchinnikov hallmark dubious  IKh (cyrillic) Ivan Khlebnikov hallmark dubious  Fabergé hallmark


enamel on silver salt cellar hallmarked 'Kokoshnik' enamel on silver Ovchinnikov hallmarked egg enamel on silver salt spoon enamel on silver belt buckle

In some cases similar elements are used for different pieces put together by the 'assembly-line of ancient Russian silver'
torah pointer with spice container finial and double headed eagle spice container on torah pointer finial besamim spice container quite similar to torah pointer finial
The globe finial of this torah pointer is similar to 'besamim' spice container



torah pointer with rabbi finial and double headed eagle rabbi on spice box quite similar to torah pointer finial
The rabbi finial of this torah pointer is similar to rabbi on 'besamim'

torah pointer double headed eagle coat of arms double headed eagle coat of arms quite similar to other torah pointer


and the double headed eagle is similar to the eagle on previous torah pointer with spice container finial

Many other "dubious" pieces are available on the web. Below a selection of "...(pseudo) ancient Russia" pieces with two "new entries": the circumcision clasp and the wedding ring. ... and a wide array of "antique Russia silver yad" proudly exhibited in the display case of a street market
English home page
www.silvercollection.it
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