Monday, June 1, 2015

Faking Perfume Bottles to Increase Their Value

The issue of adding "after market" accents to rather plain perfume bottles to increase their value is not new to the world of collecting. Over the years collectors have dealt with unscrupulous dealers who added various labels to boring bottles. Many of these labels do not fit the shape of the bottle making them a little more obvious than others, but nonetheless it confuses collectors and dealers alike. Adding a loose label to a perfume bottle may sound harmless to those who practice the fraud in order to make a quick buck, but it hurts the world of perfume collecting as it can result in mistaken identity and false value.

These are forgeries!! Plain and simple.
Dealers will often take up a genuine loose perfume label, which is frequently found online, and add it to a rather plain looking antique bottle to make it into something worthy of collecting. Some people may be fooled by a pretty fancy looking label and might purchase it thinking it is a genuine old bottle that is worth money. While they may look beautiful, those of us who strive to accurately chronicle perfume companies' bottles and perfume history, it can muddle up our records and cause a lot of confusion. A good way to figure out a fake bottle is to check the base for any markings. A nice looking French label might be applied to a plain American made bottle. We would expect a fancy French perfume would be in a French bottle, not vice versa.

Some people also fake signatures on bottles. The best example is the taking of relatively new crystal perfume bottles made in the Czech Republic and the addition of a fake Rene Lalique signature with either a diamond point engraver or through acid etching. Some of us savvy bloggers will out these fakes on our websites when we find them, but some do slip through the cracks and end up as someone's costly buying mistake. It is important to recognize true Rene Lalique bottle designs against common faked bottles.

Another thorn in the side of collecting is the creation of so-called Victorian chatelaine scent bottles. A certain shameless company in India has been taking quite new perfume bottles such as Jean Paul Gaultier female torso bottles and adding handmade brass caps fitted with chains to create a fanciful "antique" or "art deco" scent bottle that they claim is "rare". I have tried to out these sellers over the years as I see more and more ridiculous bottles being produced and sold for high sums of money.

A newer problem arising out of India is the scary production of bottles with fake engraving. These are plain, inexpensive old bottles with aftermarket laser or sandblasted engraving and applied patination. The seller (ebay seller antique.artnouveau (changed his user id from antique.artnouveau to 786.antique.house on Feb. 2, 2016) who also uses the other ebay account vintage_treasure_shop, and now has a third account noveltytreasure) offers many genuine antique perfume bottles, but his auctions are peppered with these faked bottles too (as well as faked beer glasses and tankards).

You can tell these are the same people, look at the photos, the background is the same wall from each "seller" as well as the same bottles have been sold and resold by the two "sellers" over the years. I believe that these two "sellers" are buying each other's items to illegally leave feedback for each account. The items that sell are either "private" or "best offer accepted" where you cannot see any bidding history.

 At first glance, they may fool many people, as they are beautiful and look to be well made, but I, as well as some other seasoned collectors and dealers have noticed that these designs never existed in any previous documentation or auction record.



Some examples were a few bottles with ancient Egyptian themes such as the Osiris by Gabilla, Cassiris by JN Giraud Fils and Muguet by Coty.


In the bottle shown above, the seller has taken a fairly plain bottle and added engraving of a sphinx and pyramid, then added paint into the recesses. Also they have added a fake Bichara name using acid etching on the base of the bottle. This is not what an authentic Bichara signature looks like. This is not an authentic Bichara perfume bottle. Unfortunately someone on ebay paid $375 for this faked bottle.


Another example of the faked patination is the bottle for Gabilla's La Vierge Folle, the bottle is genuine as is the label, but the seller has added a reddish patina to increase the value. Funny how some of their other bottles have this same shade of red patina also applied to them. This bottle sold for $319 USD and probably would have only sold for around $75-$100 if it did not have the patina.



I just looked at their auctions again and they have this SAME Gabilla bottle back up for sale, using the same photos...so it seems that the buyer had returned the bottle that sold and the sellers are reselling it, this time for a buy it now of $750 USD. This is ridiculous! Gabilla c1920 La Vierge Folle Cameo Etched Glass Perfume Bottle Rare Old Vintage


Some of their other bottles with fakery are the following:

Bouquet Nouveau c1930 Houbigant Crystal Nancy Rare Vintage Perfume Bottle Flacon This bottle is a common bottle used for Houbigant's Quelques Fleurs perfume and features some faked engraving for a totally different perfume.




Gelle Freres c1920 Sesostris Perfume Bottle Rare Vintage Parfum Flacon Antique This bottle displays some faked engraving. It is so bad that the engraver spelled the perfume name wrong on the bottle..."Sesosteris" instead of Sesostris.




GABILLA c1930 MODA Perfume Bottle Crystal Rare Old Vintage Parfum Flacon Antique While this bottle looks like it could be a genuine Gabilla flacon, the applied patina is not and neither is the engraving.




c1930 Le Nouveau Gardenia De Houbigant Vintage Rare Perfume Bottle Parfum Flacon More fake engraving and patination...The genuine bottles for Le Nouveau Gardenia do not look like this nor do they feature engraved designs.



This old Houbigant bottle has not only fake engraving but a fake glass cameo applied to the front.


The tactics used by this seller include much of the same engraved font and same color patina.

Here is another of their bottles, Stacte by LT PIver, the engraving is recently done and I am wondering about the labels. The label on front of the bottle is heavily water damaged. This sometimes happens when people try to soak off labels from other bottles to put them on other bottles. Also notice the water damaged Baccarat label on the base. I am wondering if this was soaked off a damaged bottle and placed on this one?



Here is a fake Godet bottle for the perfume Jasmin d'Orient with acid etched Egyptian motifs. This is NOT a genuine Godet bottle and the etching has been recently done to deceive a buyer into thinking it is a rare bottle.



The next bottle is a genuine clear glass unadorned Roger et Gallet bottle which the seller tried selling in July 2015 for $199, but it did not sell, so they decided to add some fake etching and applied patina staining to increase the "value" and the likelihood of it being sold.



Here is a newly faked bottle for LT Piver's Pompeia. This bottle is not one that was actually used by LT Piver for this perfume. Also the seller has done some etching using a stencil and some sort of acid along the edges of the bottle and around the neck of the bottle and applied some red staining. They also applied a label that was soaked off a miniature perfume bottle used for Pompeia. Although this cobbled together bottle may look pretty, it is worthless as it is not a genuine LT Piver Pompeia flacon.



Another faked fantasy piece, this time for Gabilla's La Vierge Folle perfume. The seller has used a vintage Russian perfume bottle which was never used by Gabilla and has had some acid etching and applied red staining. The bottle was originally used by the Soviet era perfumery Novaya Zarya (New Dawn) for their perfume "Fairy Tale of Tsar Saltan" during the 1970s-1980s. It is a long discontinued perfume and is hard to find. I am saddened that this seller has ruined the old collectible bottle.

Here is a fake Canarina bottle that the seller has just posted for sale on ebay. He has added some etching and applied patination to a very plain, inexpensive vintage bottle. Please rest assured that this is NOT Baccarat, Julien Viard or Rene Lalique as the seller is attempting to attribute in his listing.



Another bottle he has concocted is what he calls Glycine by Gabilla. He has taken a genuine Baccarat flacon which was originally used by Violet for their perfume Valreine in 1911, and added fake etching and patina. He has sliced off the domed top of the stopper and added an etched cupido motif.




The seller has taken a Baccarat travel flacon and turned it into a fantasy bottle for Caprice de Fleurs by Gelle Freres. The seller has used a stencil of a 1960s interpretation of an Art Nouveau maiden as well as some pretty plain lettering for the perfume's name and the Gelle Freres name. This is not an original Gelle Freres bottle.

Newest faked bottle is Jasmin by Houbigant. This time, the seller has used a circa 1960s style graphic in his stencil design. The bottle is not by Houbigant (it is unmarked on base). The presentation box is clearly Victorian in age and just a tad too early for the Jasmin by Houbigant fragrance which debuted in 1919.  Note the terrible engraving on this mirror inside the case. This is NOT a genuine Houbigant perfume bottle, the engraving and applied patina are fake. The seller is trying to get $950 for this junk - don't be fooled!




This seller has also created a fake Parfum Max by Fourrures Max. The real bottle was originally created by Baccarat in the 1920s for the fur company and decorated in sapphire blue enamel. The seller has used green paint to create a label in the style similar to the original, however, both the bottle and stopper that they used to create this fake is incorrect. On the right is the original bottle and the left shows the fake. The bottle on the fake has slightly bowed sides and the original has faceted sides. The stoppers are also different, the original has a flat top with faceted sides, with blue enamel trim. The fake bottle's stopper is a pointed dome shaped lapidary stopper, while the bottle is and old one, it was never issued with the green painted label.


This seller has also created a second fake Parfum Max by Fourrures Max perfume bottle. The real bottle was originally created by Baccarat in the 1920s for the fur company and decorated in sapphire blue enamel. On the right is the original bottle and the left shows the fake. The seller has used acid etching or sandblasting to create a deeply etched surface and then used blue paint to fill in the etched area in an attempt to look like the original, however, as you can see on the genuine bottle the image is set in a smaller area on the bottle, whereas on the fake it takes up much more space. Also on the original, it does not have a deeply etched surface as shown on the fake, but is rather finely painted onto the surface using a stencil. The bottle on the fake has a flat topped stopper with faceted sides, and then blue paint was added trim. The fake's stopper is not as refined as the one shown on the original and is noticeable thicker.

Update 11/11/2016: After not being able to sell this for several months, the seller has decided to put some unknown "perfume" inside and used some gold cording to "seal" the bottle. This is the same bottle, I just couldn't find a better photo. I have shown the bottles below so you can see the comparisons.



The seller made a sale on a fake Feu Follet by Roger et Gallet bottle he made up. This bottle in no way resembles the actual Feu Follet bottle. The seller has added his usual etching on the bottle.


Unfortunately, the seller also made a hefty sale on a fake Secret du Sphinx by Delettrez bottle that never existed. The seller has applied his usual etching techniques and again is favoring the Egyptian Revival motifs which has made him plenty of money in the past.

Another Godet perfume has fallen prey to this seller as he dreamed up another fantasy, this time Exquisite by Godet. This bottle has never been used Godet, and the amateur etching and applied patina just looks cartoonish.

This genuine Lalique bottle started out as a plain, clear glass bottle for Worth, however, the seller has decided to use his stencils and his acid etching to create a frosted finish with clear stars. Then he added some blue paint to make the bottle appear it is of blue glass. Please note the globs of paint here and there, as well as the overall rough etched finish, which if it were real, it would be satin smooth, also note on the stopper, there is a chip in the glass which was frosted over...if this happened during its normal manufacturing, such a stopper would not have left the Lalique factory with a chip.




Here is another faked perfume bottle by ebay seller 786.antique.house - this time the seller is claiming tat this is a Tokalon bottle for their perfume called Pero. In actuality, this is a Lalique made bottle used by Parfums Worth for their various perfumes such as Je Reviens. the seller has again, used the etching technique to create an image which is usually found on the Tokalon powder boxes for their Pero line. This was NEVER used on these bottles. This is a fake!!!!



Here is an authentic Baccarat Godet bottle, but this time, the seller has used his infamous engraving to create a "label". Please see the photo of the original 1925 advertisement showing the same bottle but with a paper label. The bottle was decorated with gilded accents around the neck of the bottle and was used for various Godet perfumes, and had paper labels denoting which scent was inside, and not engraving.


Below is another Godet bottle, which may actually have a genuine label, however, there is a fake engraved design on the back, which was never there originally.


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