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March 2014.



Someone wanting to buy a small Roman bronze figurine on eBay sent me links and asked for an opinion.



These two.

The first comes with a certificate of authenticity.





For the first the seller writes:


"This is a great item..... it is a statue of the Roman god "Mars". This statue dates from the 1st / 2nd century AD & is made from a copper / bronze alloy measuring 75mm in height. You often see these statue's on eBay, but they never come with genuine provenance, well this statue does. On 14.10.1989, the Ancient Art International certified this statue & it comes with their signed certificate of authenticity! A great chance to own a piece of history, I am rather tempted to keep this myself, having a keen interest in Roman history, but I must sell it & regretfully let it go to someone who will cherish it"


Of course it is not Mars but Hermes and the certificate must surely be a fake. The place is even misspelled! Compare with a genuine certificate from this seller.

This fake is widely available and is often sold on eBay as a "reproduction". Usually costs around $25.

Many different tyes from the same factory. For example.

Alerted the seller: no response so contacted the supposed original seller who of course confirmed that the certificate is a fake. It has been withdrawn from sale now after they contact the seller. Maybe they were more persuasive than me or not as polite.


Watch out for these fake certificates: if there is one of them, then there are surely more.

As for the other bronze....... it too is often available of eBay sold correctly as a reproduction.


Here are some comparative photos with one I bought for $19.

But this seller responded immediately on receiving evidence and removed it from sale.



But this seller didn't want to believe it.


Even though is is so obviously a sort of reproduction.




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