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24th March 2006


These has  been quite a lot of faked classical pottery offered  for sale online at various websites and on eBay.


These were the offerings of a fellow in The Netherlands who continues to peddle his wares on eBay.



If  these look like genuine ancient pieces to you then you really should capture a few images and then go to the numerous museum websites and capture a few images of the genuine thing and put them side by side.


The images below are of "reproduction" pieces sold as such on eBay. They dont look at all convincing but are worth noting as no doubt such things will appear on ebay pretending to be genuine.


Although stated to be reproduction, the actual style of painting is nothing like the genuine thing.





If this, below,  is vaguely relevant to your interest, you will also be interested to go here about forgeries and fakes on eBay


26th March 2006

Someone emailed me about this piece which they had bought on eBay for $3200.





  From TLN

A few weeks ago


I bought this described as an Attic Black Figure amphora.

Is it genuine?


I replied.........



It's a fake I'm afraid.

When you look at it side by side with a genuine one you will see all

manner of stylistic details as well as the surface, entirely wrong.

This seller specialises  in quite convincing fakes!




But the seller said........


All items sold by ( us) are guaranteed to be of the age or period stated in the listing, but to qualify for a refund of the net sale price, (and at our option, a refund of freight charges), you must provide us with written evidence from either:

  • (a) Christie's or Sotheby's specialists, or
  • (b) A curator at any major museum, or
  • (c) A recognized testing laboratory using recognized scientific testing procedures. (e.g.Thermo luminescence).



So the buyer had snapped into action...


From Christies


Sent: 2/24/2006 11:48:59 AM Subject: RE: Greek amphora for possible consignment.

Many thanks for your inquiry.  Unfortunately this is an Italian creation of the last 50 years or so and really only of limited decorative value.




Sent: Saturday, March 11, 2006 8:47 PM

Dear Max

I had sent you an inquiry asking if you would please email me a note stating that the Greeek amapora was a reproduction on your letter head so that I can obtain a refund from the seller. I am happy to apy for your expertise. thank you so very much


But alas.....


Sent: 3/13/2006 6:39:52 AM

Sorry, this is not something that Christie's does. You could contact Royal Athena Galleries here in NYC- perhaps they can help you.





This message was sent after the listing closed.


Since I sent you an email confirming that Christies had stated that the item you sold to me was a recent reproduction and you supposedly guarantee your items and refund, I have not heard anything from you. what do you plan to do?



PayPal gives only a small window of opportunity to make a claim  and as the buyer had no response to her first emails to the seller I recommended that she contact payPal right away.


We also  snap into action at this end.

A report is provided; with assistance also from Rolf.



The buyer of this item has asked me to provide you with this independent report

The views here expressed are mine and those of another dealer. 


The item was described by the seller on eBay as:


Greek Attic Period, circa 510 B.C.


The item is very clearly not a genuine antiquity.


  • Shape and size: The overall shape and size is correct for an amphora of the Classical Period 450 BC at the very earliest and nearer 400 BC in reality if it was genuine.
  • Fabric: The terracotta fabric is to thickly potted to be genuine.
  • Glaze: The glaze is incorrect, much thicker than ancient glaze, requiring a much lower firing temperature, but creating an uneven, dense and rather ugly surface that one immediately associates with modern as opposed to older Grand Tour forgeries. 
  • Iconography of the figures: The figures have been carefully copied from a genuine piece of the Archaic Period however Black figure painting died out in about 535/525 BC and hence  such painting would not occur on a vase of this shape which only began to appear in about 450 BC. The owl next to Athena is not actually an owl but something with a pigeon-like head: not a mistake that an Athenian painter would make.

  • Background field: The colour and texture variation is nothing like the genuine red field on this type of pottery.
  • Wear: The wear is spurious and not really like genuine wear on ancient pieces.
  • Colour of terracotta: The basic colour of the fired clay is not consistent with a genuine ancient artefact of this particular type.
  • Water Test: Water is absorbed only very slowly into unglazed clay areas; this is consistent with modern terracotta ,  not ancient fired clay. Similarly the smell of the dampened clay fabric is that of modern terracotta.


I do not think that a thermo-luminescence test of a sample of this pottery is required to validate the conclusion that it is a rather poor modern piece in the stel of rather than attempting to replicate a genuine antiquity.




From: Service at PayPal


Date: 3/24/2006 8:54:18 AM

Subject: Resolution of Buyer Complaint: Case #PP-144-986-391

We have completed our investigation into the claim detailed below.

We've reviewed the evidence in this case and decided in your favor.

As a result, we have recovered funds from the seller, and $175.00 USD has been credited to your PayPal account. This is the maximum amount covered by PayPal Buyer Protection.

If your claim was for more than the amount covered by PayPal Buyer Protection, you are entitled to be paid the balance of the claim by the seller. We will make our best effort to recover the balance from the


Please be assured that we will take appropriate action against the seller if the seller's account has insufficient funds to complete the refund owed

to you.



Well, lets see what PayPal (owned by eBay) actually does.

Also, what about this seller.

There are still fakes listed there!


Come back and see the updated news as it happens!


2nd March 2005


 Date: 3/26/2006 11:45:10 AM

 Subject: Resolution of Case ID #PP-144-986-391

 We have concluded our investigation into your Buyer Claim. The seller

 has issued a refund for the outstanding amount owed to settle the

 following claim:

Transaction Date: Feb 10, 2006

Transaction Amount: -$3,220.00 USD

Case Number: PP-144-986-391


They paid!

However, please note that I'm leaving this information here because this is a rare event.

The lesson is that it's well worthwhile acting quickly and persisting.

If this buyer had delayed only another three days she would have falen outside of PaPal's claim period and she would not have been able to make a claim at all! 


This seller is of course still touting fakes wares.


Buyer to eBay

2nd March 2006

I notice that he is selling items, including the one that is a fake on eBay again. How many items does it talke before you stop someone like him from selling on e bay? It makes me realize that you are not really interested in the validity of the items sold on eBay, which makes eBay buyers in general uncomfortable. I have my concerns about the legalitiy of this practice, allowing people to sell on eBay that you know sell fake items. What are your plans to stop this practice?




Another  from the same seller.

One of many.



 From M

16th March 07

This seller writes about this one........



We are offering a magnificent Greek pottery red-figured dish decorated with the bust of a helmeted soldier with long black hair facing left in profile, and what appears to be a spear appearing on the left side. Red tongues decorate around the rim.

This dish has been pierced in the rear by its previous owner and was hung on a wall.

Bid safely and with assurance knowing this item comes with an unconditional lifetime guarantee on authenticity backed up in writing on your invoice, as well as by our great reputation and feedback as eBay sellers.



I am viewing the new page.






  • You should notice the absolute ignorance of the seller and the bad faith.    
  • One - because it is not a soldier but ATHENA.   
  • Two - to the left it is not a lance but a flower that was drawn for giving more depth to the scene.   
  • Three - this form of dish is absolutely modern, it doesn't exist in ancient times.
  • Four - it is impossible to make  the two holes to hang it,  in such a thin piece without breaking it . The only way to make holes  for hanging is  to make them before firing: that's what what we do. We manufacture them!



All these observations I have furnished her to eBay.





Next page about forgeries and fakes of Classical pottery >>>

BUT make sure you look at page 5 also!