I ironically titled this post like an essay for a reason: today a collector eager to learn something on the coinage of Lipara he would be in great difficulty, unless he gets the rare and expensive CNS volume. In fact online databases would surely non help him, because by now, after years of auctioned forgeries, on the internet there is very little genuine to see on this mint.
On this post I’ll point out some samples showing how many fakes of Lipara have been listed in recent years by ebay sellers and even more by major auction houses. This is not a comprehensive catalog of all the forgeries sold, just a gallery of samples.
Hemilitron CNS I.4
(at this link a genuine sample from BnF).
Let’s start from the most famous sample, the hemilitron CNS I.4/4
On September 2010 the Classical Numismatic Group listed for $2000 estimate this coin: Printed Auction 85, lot 207:
Soft look, rough surfaces and the remains of the casting seam should have alerted the auction house’s experts long before the catalog was published, however fortunately the lot was withdrawn before the end of the auction, when someone pointed out to the seller that one year earlier a twin of this coin was sold as modern replica on ebay:
Another sample was offered in 2011 by the Italian auction house InAsta, properly sold as replica. Ironically, this is the specimen where the casting seam was better disguised!
One year later another major auction house, the Italian ArtCoins Roma, listed as genuine (and later withdrew) another sample.
Despite nowadays this is a well known fake (here and here other samples from f.n.), still some “reputable” auction houses continue to list and sell this junk on their auctions, like the British TimeLine Auctions did on May 2015, realizing 260 GBP
Hexas CNS I.6
(at this link a genuine sample, CNS plate coin, sold by CNG; here another genuine sample from British Museum)
The first was sold on ebay some weeks ago, on April 5 2016 (item n. 191829858472)…
This fake is pressed on a real ancient corroded flan. In this enlargement is visible the “impossible” detail of the dotted border impressed on the lower corroded plan:
It was sold for 72,49 Eur after 12 bids, the seller is selin-franc (beware, this is an alias of the notorius fake seller Aitnacoins, at this link a discussion from forvm that could be almost comical if we forget that we are dealing with a real criminal).
The second case for CNS I.6 is from a major French seller: CGB, who in 2010 has auctioned this coin, sold for 1.173 Eur final price:
All is wrong in this coin: those fractures screaming “pressed!”, the flat fields, the wrong conical shape of the flan which is inconsistent with the real coinage of Lipara, the disposition of dots on reverse, and also weight is wrong: half way between hexas and onkia, inconsistent with the metrological system of the mint. The experts of the auction house and the 11 bidders maybe they never saw a genuine specimen, and never opened Calciati’s book. Following a comparison when I put this coin between two genuine samples ex-Virzì, and I also attach the scan of all the genuine specimens listed on CNS, so you can understand by your eyes that this is just an expensive fake.
Unfortunately other forgeries from the same modern couple of dies have been sold in recent years. Here a another sample:
A note for those collector still convinced that traces of red cuprite are an unmistakable sign of genuiness, I have very bad news, that assumption isn’t true. For a glaring example look at these two clones of Germanicus sold by Gerhard Hirsch (here and here) I plan to discuss in a future post.
Going on with our observations about the hexas CNS I.6, here is a further sample pressed by the same modern dies just identified:
And now a strange case, look at this further listing:
…and compare the specimen with the previous one:
They are twins! The coin by Munzen & Medaillen is a cast replica of the pressed fake by Gorny! They are not the same coin after restoration, one could guess that the Gorny specimen was restored filling the fractures with some kind of resin and offered by M&M seven years later, but it’s not so. Compare weights. If restored filling fractures (i.e. adding new mass) the second coin should be heavier, but it weights about two grams less.
Let’s go on with othercast fake hexas of Lipara.
On october 2007 Gorny & Mosch auctioned this coin:
After just five months the same seller listed again the same coin (same specimen), but the estimate was 25% less (from 600 to 450 eur), strange no?
Maybe the seller was aware he was selling a fake. Now look at this listing by another german seller, Numismatil Lanz, three years later.
Maybe the overturned picture of the reverse was just a mistake by the seller, or maybe not? Maybe the seller wanted to prevent that a database search could immediately catch the eye like this (I turned the pic in the right way):
The Gorny and the Lanz sold coins are clones, not the same specimen, just compare weights. The first one was also listed by the Italian auction house Thesaurus:
This further cast fake sold by Kunker likely comes from the same forger’s workshop.
I just can’t believe that an obvious cast fake like this was really auctioned! See obverse 10h-12h, that forger was really awkward while manipulating the wax, you can almost see the fingerprints!!
I know this post is getting too long and you could be bored folks, but really there is so much fake stuff out there that I could go on for thousands of lines. So, let’s show just two more cast fake samples, I upload the listing and the pic with highlighted the critical areas (for those less skilled I plan to write in the future some posts dealing with the critical features to spot fakes).
And now the very last pearl, by ArtCoins Roma. Look at this recent listing:
This poor quality forgery shares the fake dies of the forgery sold on April 5 2016 by selin-franc (item n. 191829858472, discussed above in this post), and also the same obverse die of the fake onkia discussed in the second part of this post, and even the same identical artificial ageing and patina. They clearly come from the same forger’s workshop, but the forger has improved his work. In 2013 the onkia was immediatly condemned as fake by experts for the inconsistency of the flan’s shape. Now in 2016, after three years the same workshop has learned how to mint more deceptive forgeries.
After all this… one would be asking these sellers, but WHO THE HELL ARE YOUR CONSIGNORS???
To be continued…