How to Spot Fake Opaque Twist Wine Glasses
If you are going to invest in 18
th century glass then it’s important to be able to tell the difference between what is a genuine example and what is something that sets out to deprive you of your money by masquerading as an authentic piece, intentionally or otherwise.
Having now traded on eBay for over a decade, I can say with some confidence that there are dozens of opaque twist wine glasses which are listed every year as being original 18th century pieces that are in fact the product of a much later period.
This review attempts to deal with just one type of ‘fake’ or later example. I specifically call them later examples as they were not originally made to deceive anyone, and to a certain extent they were manufactured in such a way that the educated eye can easily determine their provenance. That’s not to say, of course, that more modern sellers may be fully intending to defraud potential purchasers, but the same tell-tale signs will give away their intentions. I have included a basic picture of one of these later examples below and then the same glass alongside some genuine examples for comparative purposes.
On first inspection the more modern glass looks quite genuine and for that reason many sellers are hoodwinked by their appearance, however there is one very obvious characteristic that gives the game away…and that is the actual direction of the twist within the stem itself.
It is a documented fact that all 18th century opaque twist stems move down the stem in the same direction - they start at the top right and wind down to the bottom left with the part of the twist nearest to the observer maintaining this direction, and I have shown a genuine 18th century stem below to illustrate this point…
On this specific form of later example, the opposite is always true. Again I have included a picture of the stem detail which as you can see moves from top left down the stem to bottom right when “in front” of the other elements.
The two pictures together may make it easier to differentiate between the two variations…
It’s difficult to say where exactly these later pieces originate from but the consensus is that they were made in Italy around 1900 to 1920. So they are approximately 100 years old, hand made and antiques in their own right, but are not genuine 18th century examples at any stretch of the imagination.
Do keep an eye open for these types of stems. It may not be that the seller is deliberately trying to hoodwink the buyer, and could simply be a case of not knowing what is a genuine glass and what is a much later copy. There are many other later copies around, as well as and out and out fakes, but these are probably the easiest to spot…if you know what to look for.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or would like me to take a look at any specific pieces and let you know what I think.
Spotting Fake Opaque Twist Wine Glasses
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27 May 2015
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