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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Resources  |  Fake Coins and Notorious Fake Sellers (Moderators: maridvnvm, Ilya Prokopov)  |  Topic: Fake clay tessera 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Fake clay tessera  (Read 2287 times)
areich
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« on: December 06, 2015, 07:20:45 pm »

Hi all,
you may remember the large group of clay tessera, sold this year by a large auction house, with the unsold lots being sold on Ebay by a dealer from Munich. When I originally bought a lot, I returned them, because I thought they were fake. They were a wild mixture of Greek motifs with many duplicates and a large number of emperors' heads, looking modern Bulgarian. This is, to my knowledge, the first time a match to a modern fakle die has been found, confirming my suspicions.

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/fakes/displayimage.php?pos=-17311
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Andreas Reich
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2015, 11:22:42 pm »

Great!  That answers many questions about these "tessera" that have been appearing in such numbers.
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Molinari
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2015, 11:38:12 pm »

Good find, Andreas!  I was tempted to bid on these a number of times but refrained because I also thought they didn't seem right.
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Jay GT4
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2015, 02:19:33 am »

Great catch areich
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Joe Sermarini
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2015, 04:31:46 am »

Fake coin reports please.
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Joseph Sermarini
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2015, 10:21:29 am »

I personally feel that all of these are fake though I have only this die link. Should these be listed with the caveat that the others have not been definitely proven to be fake?

http://www.acsearch.info/search.html?term=terracotta&category=9&en=1&de=1&fr=1&it=1&es=1&ot=1&images=1&currency=usd&thesaurus=1&order=3&company=93&auction=

The unsolds (and the one I returned) ended up on Ebay but I don't know of a functioning Ebay archive website. Most pictures are dead. That's a shame, because there was one Nero that was definitely Bulgarian, though a quick search found no die match.

Quite a lot are still there:
http://www.ebay.de/sch/M%C3%BCnzen-Altertum-/4733/i.html?_sop=10&_from=R40&LH_Complete=1&_nkw=savoca+tessera&rt=nc&LH_PrefLoc=3
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Andreas Reich
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2015, 12:58:01 pm »

I suppose we should put the caveat, but it seems almost certain they are all fake.
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Joseph Sermarini
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2015, 01:11:01 pm »

What would be the chances of a forger perfectly matching the fabric of all these as soon as they hit the market?
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areich
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2015, 03:41:27 pm »

I don't have the time myself but I think more die matches could be found. There are quite a few emperors' heads on these. It is possible that the less convincing ones went straight to Ebay.
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Andreas Reich
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2015, 04:24:26 pm »

Dear Board,

We do not need to rely on the stamps for evaluating these clay bullae.  The reverses can be very instructive as well.  When Andreas privately shared his concerns with me, I decided to do some digging myself and found the following pair of bullae with identical papyrus imprints.  I was alarmed, but didn't know if that was enough evidence to publicly condemn them.  

Personally, I still do not know what to make of the assemblage as a whole.  It was most unwise of  the forgers to have used notorious forged coins for the imperial portrait bullae on the one hand, and extremely clever of them to produce convincing copies of attested types on the other---types that have been found during archaeological excavations in Syria and published in the literature.    


Sincerely,

Mark Fox
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« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2015, 05:30:14 pm »

...I decided to do some digging myself and found the following pair of bullae with identical papyrus imprints.  I was alarmed, but didn't know if that was enough evidence to publicly condemn them...

It certainly is.
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Joseph Sermarini
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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2015, 06:30:36 pm »

I'm starting to add the ones from the EBay link. If anyone has additional info (like die matches), that would be very welcome. Either edit the reports or post it here with a link to the report.
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Andreas Reich
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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2015, 07:21:58 pm »

I've saved the EBay examples and will continue to add them. There are many duplicates. When I realized how many there were, I stopped copying size and weight. With these it is of very limited use anyway. I've also save the few examples from acsearch where I wasn't immediately sure I already had them.
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Andreas Reich
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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2015, 10:23:31 pm »

A Herculean task!
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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2015, 10:52:05 pm »

This is most worrying. I've been acquiring these things for 35 years now, and I shall need to take a closer look at some of them...
Not all of them will be fakes, though. As Mark points out, there are plenty of excavated and published specimens, and tens of thousands of them have come to light on archaeological sites. I bought my very first one from a Turkish gentleman who was actually from Gaziantep, and I've no doubt that it's genuine. At that time, very few such items were coming onto the market, there was scarcely any literature on them, and renowned auction houses were describing them as "theatre admission tickets" or similar. I've also obtained several unusual types, erotic or mythological, which I've never seen in duplicate, suggesting that they are originals (because such types, if they could be copied, would fetch far more on the market than the comparatively boring material on eBay).
But... fifteen years ago I was offered a bucketful of bullae at the Charing Cross Collectors' Market in London. I intended to cherry pick them, but noticed how many duplicates there were, and that all of them had much the same colour and texture, soapy surfaces and low relief. I was sure they were fakes, and I didn't buy any. Some of the auction lots in the link given by areich remind me strongly of the contents of that small bucket!
Are the fakes Bulgarian work? I've been to coin fairs in Bulgaria and not seen any there. Can any of Forum's Bulgarian members help on this?
- Francis
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« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2015, 11:04:47 pm »

Not all of them are fakes, but the ones hitting the market in the last 2-3 years are. It is good, though, to have at least one die match now to confirm that.

Lars
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« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2015, 09:10:24 am »

An don't forget the matching 'reverses' that Mark found. I'll first add them so they don't get lost but eventually I'll probably combine all similar examples into one picture. I only did it for one, where I found 4 examples.
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Andreas Reich
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« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2015, 11:36:56 am »

More:

- another Aelius
- the Faustina: https://www.forumancientcoins.com/fakes/displayimage.php?pos=-1011
- the Vitellius: https://www.forumancientcoins.com/fakes/displayimage.php?pos=-9130

I would be grateful if anyone could merge these pictures and add them to the fake reports. These are all fake, with imperial portraits or without. I have informed the seller.

Lars
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Leu Numismatik
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« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2015, 09:03:15 pm »

I'll add the two new ones. I was a bit under the weather but I'll eventually make composites so there's only one of each type. But I don't have the "Vitellius", can you send me a link? I saw one of the sellers reading the thread when it was new, so I didn't think it necessary to contact him.
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Andreas Reich
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« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2015, 10:18:09 pm »

Thanks! Pictures and links are in the posting.

Lars
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« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2015, 10:43:14 am »

Thanks but I meant a link where the "Vitellius" tessera was sold. Maybe there are more.
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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Resources  |  Fake Coins and Notorious Fake Sellers (Moderators: maridvnvm, Ilya Prokopov)  |  Topic: Fake clay tessera « previous next »
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