Beware the Fakes, Frauds, and Reproductions
First, what is a fraud, a fake, a reproduction, a replica, a copy?
In any definition there are legal ramifications - "fraud"
or "fake" has an 'accusatory' element that "reproduction"
or "replica" does not. For an item to be fraudulent or
a "fake", there needs to be intent on the part of the
seller to deceive the prospective purchaser regarding the items
actual identity/authenticity. A reproduction or replica is openly
represented to the purchaser as what it is, a newly made piece.
The tough part of determining fraud is to know if the seller is
actually INTENTIONALLY misrepresenting a piece, or if they themselves
have been duped. Also, the seller may not actually make any claims
as to the authenticity of the piece, letting the buyer "imagineer"
this information themselves. An example of this might be a seller
that buys and buries recently made ceramics in his gardenl for a
few months, and upon digging up these salty "new relics",
just places them on his show table with a price and no other information.
Are they fakes? Or just "decor" pieces? [in this case,
it is fraud]
What are reproductions, replicas, and copies? There can be any
number of definitions for these terms, but we'll use these.
A REPRODUCTION is an item that is a fairly faithful rendition of
a particular item, that is made and sold initially in "new
condition". The processes, techniques, and materials used to
create the reproduction are generally the same as were used to make
A REPLICA would be newly made item, that duplicates an original
in noticeably less detail - a replica is essentially an item styled
after the original, and may not have been made using any of the
processes, techniques, or materials of the original. Apparel replica's
are commonly called "costumes".
A COPY is a highly rendered duplication of an original item, to
include aging, flaws, damage, etc., so that it has the same appearance
as the original artifact. Since the term is pretty generic, we'll
tend to avoid it except in specific descriptions. A copy is essentially
one step from being a fake - that step being the intent of a person
to represent it as an original to a buyer. (text adapted from The
Military Horse and Horse Equipments)
(C)2004, THETIS authentics Ltd.
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