RUSSIAN ANTIQUE SILVER
FAKES


created by Giorgio B. owner of
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silversmith's hallmarks
assayer's marks
town marks
artels
kokoshnik
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 the best 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 better 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 1780dubious '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
hallmarkIKh (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  
hallmarkdubious  
hallmarkdubious  
hallmarkdubious  
hallmarkdubious  
hallmark
dubious  
hallmarkdubious  
hallmarkdubious  
hallmarkdubious  
hallmark
dubious  
PO (cyrillic)
Pavel Ovchinnikov
hallmarkdubious  
IKh (cyrillic)
Ivan Khlebnikov
hallmarkdubious  
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 eaglespice container
on torah 
pointer finial besamim 
spice container
quite similar to
torah pointer
finialThe globe finial of this torah pointer is similar to 'besamim' spice container


torah pointer
with rabbi finial
and double 
headed eaglerabbi on
spice box
quite similar
to torah pointer
finialThe rabbi finial of this torah pointer is similar to rabbi on 'besamim'
torah pointer 
double headed eagle
coat of armsdouble 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
main page
silversmith's hallmarks
assayer's marks
town marks
artels
kokoshnik
fakes
Moskow hallmarkSt Petersburg hallmark official marks - legge 5 Febbraio 1935 Paris 1818/1838 hallmarkParis 1797/1809 hallmark London town markSheffield town mark Whiting sterling silver mark
Russian silver marks Italian silver marks French silver marks English silver marks USA silver marks
German silver hallmark Hanau silver hallmark Austrian silver hallmark Sanborn/Mexico silver mark
 Germany  Hanau  Austria  Mexico
Pelton Bros. Silver Plate Co. hallmarkRogers & Bro. - Waterbury CT hallmark Mappin & Webb hallmarkWalker & Hall hallmark Devices of Old Sheffiel Plate
American Silver Plate marks English Electroplate silver marks Old Sheffied Plate marks
Elkington hallmark 1842-1860 Georg Jensen hallmark 1945-1951 Gorham Athenic hallmarkGorham Martelé hallmark Tiffany hallmarks WMF hallmarks Reed & Barton mark Mappin & Webb mark
Elkington Georg Jensen Gorham Corporation Tiffany & Co WMF Reed & Barton Mappin & Webb



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