daily deals antiques

Wine Taster, French Silver by Christofle


Pair of UK Sterling Table SALT & PEPPER Shakers


Pair of Table Salt & Pepper Shakers


eBay Auctions

ebay listings

Please Join my 'New' Newsletter



Art Nouveau







Tips, Thoughts & Observations

Daily Fakes, Fraud, False &/or Misleading Descriptions on eBay, and

* Janie's eBay Tips & Cautions of the Day, ForeWarned is ForeArmed! ***

QUESTIONS about Descriptions that Sellers use, e.g. Solid Silver, Sterling Silver, Tested as etc. Equivalents of Sterling Silver etc. are all quite simple to answer.

Considering the Price, would you Buy an unsigned Renoir and pay a Renoir Price? NO, unless you had genuine Certifications of Authenticity. OK, then, try to Buy Silver, French or English that is Hallmarked and the Silversmith can be identified as well as the Age and Origin. Be extra careful when the Seller just describes it as Sterling or Solid Silver or if the only Guarantee is the Seller's assurance that he 'Tested' the Silver.

A 'Coin' in a Taster simply Does Not DATE the Taster, only the Coin.

Be patient, ask Questions, as many as needed or, say goodbye.

eBay Sellers who will Not respond to or allow Questions to be asked, should simply be 'avoided' period. More and more Sellers are intentionally or inadvertently NOT giving CONDITION Details, or Why something is 'Sterling or Solid Silve, so, insist on an exact Condition Report in Writing without relying on the Photos which are Misleading at best. Item #231139344623 is a perfect example. Also, look carefully at Dimensions & Feedback on Sellers, so look at Feedback carefully before bidding. Sellers who split 'Sets' of anything, increase the Risk of your Not getting the complete Set, e.g. 2 auctions for 6 Cups or, 6 Spoons each. Some Sellers have removed the Buyer's Option to 'Ask a Question'.

**SELLERS to avoid: clms33 + brocs_en_stoc, in France. Grossly misleading descriptions.

Avoid Bidding against yourself by repeatedly adding to your Bid as if that will deter someone else from Bidding. Wrong.....you are simply bidding against yourself + raising the Price against yourself.

Question of the Week

Aug. 13, 2014 - Jennifer see Item #161338798399 @ $1,445. Selling as a 17th Century Silver Tastevin with NO Hallmarks shown nor given, just a Coin that was inserted along with a Questionable Description. Then look at My 18th Century Wine taster, the Hallmarks etc...and you will see what I am talking about.

Aug. 8th, 2014- Mike, Wine Taster item #161338798399  @ $1500 is NOT '17th Century' as described. Description is Misleading at best, only Hallmarks'dates Silver. Seller is Selling a Coin, Not a Wine Taster which is missing parts. Unless you know Coins, My advice...... Beware!

July 31st, 2014- Carolyn, Wine Taster item #251603374558 Relisted @ $600 is NOT '18th Century' as described. Description is Misleading at best, and 'visible Hallmarks' is meaningless without describing the actual Silver Hallmarks which confirm it's Athenticity, it's Date. My advice...... Beware!

February 18th, Irvino, item #221374885038 without Hallmarks is Not Sterling Silver unless you are buying the Coin and I don't know if that is Sterling Silver.
January. 28, 2014 - Wine Taster eBay #130941081443....Joan, insist on Seller describing the Hallmarks which are Not mentioned nor does Seller say that this is Sterling Silver or equivalent, just 'silver'. Beware.

Jan. 17, 2014 Carolyn, Wine Taster item #261376461699 is NOT 'Sterling Silver' as described. Description is Misleading at best, it is not the Sterling equivalent. The Hallmark indicates there is a 20% Metal Alloy + Silver around 800/1000 . Engilish Sterling is 925/1000 and French Minerve #1 is, 950/1000 and those are Standaqrds that are recognized. Beware!

Jan. 16, 2014 Carolyn, Wine Taster item #251421895817 is NOT 'Solid Silver' as described. It is not even Sterling equivalent, with a Boar Hallmark there is a Metal Alloy + Silver around 800 Metal / 1000 Silver, Sterling is 925/1000 and French Minerve #1 is, 950/1000.

Jan. 6, 2014 item# 321288445451. Joyce, No Hallmarks, yet called Sterling Silver with dubious Testing, so you are buying a Coin in a Dish. Forget it and wait for something genuine.

Jan. 6, 2014 Irvino, item# 321290922346 Seller refuses to give Condition so, he is selling Photos, forget it, you have no recourse.

Jan. 3, 2014 Carolyn, item # 271312304577 Christofle is NOT Sterling, this is Silver Plate. Seller agreed and has changed his Listing Description accordingly.

Dec. 31st, item # 231110851328. Seller, ibid2much tells Buyers to go to the Library or, look online for the French Hallmarks which he refuses to identify. Buyers or, Suckers Beware of this Seller. Might be Silver Plate

BEWARE of 'Deceitful Descriptions' e.g. 'Some very minor Blemishes', which turned out to be Dents, dings and an Old Repair. see Item#300439985201 or, 'Condition as Expected'.....

Avoid a Seller Whose Condition Report consists of the item being in 'Good Condition as far as He or She is concerned or, the Photos show what you are Buying.

July 31 st, 2014

.......... Perhaps You did not know ............???

French Sterling Silver (finer than English Sterling, has a Silver content of .950 parts Silver, versus .925 parts for the latter and, almost Always is Hallmaarked because of Revenue Laws in France. I avoid anything Sold as French Sterling without Hallmarks & particularly when Seller says it has been Tested.

ODIOT Silversmiths Paris France was purchased by BOULENGER Silversmiths in 1906.

'RARE' used in Descriptions

** One sees all too often in a Description the Noun 'RARE' which has acquired a Secondary Connotation and one should remember the Definition offered by Merriam Webster - "marked by unusual quality, merit or appeal - Distinctive, Uncommon"


** That SALT which is Sodium Chloride, essential for animal life is Toxic to most land plants. CAREFUL leaving it in your Silver Salt Cellars, risk of corrosion. This is why Salt Cellars have been Gilded or have interior Glass or Crystal Liners. Don't leave Salt between the Liner and Salt Cellar. Have you tried Salt from France, Hawaii, New Zealand?

WINE' - France, where it comes from..

Art Deco

** The Name, Art Deco, is derived from the Famous "Exposition des Arts Décoratifs" which was held in Paris, France in 1925 and brought about the 2nd Revival of Art following the Art Nouveau Period.


** The famous and often infamous acid engraved BACCARAT Hallmark only came into existence circa 1936 and before that, Baccarat used stick on Lables with a similar hallmark. These latter labels were lost, washed off, removed etc. and some unsrupulous people use them to deceive. SEE an Example of the Hallmarks under Crystal & Glass. BEWARE!!!

Sterling Silver

** The term "Sterling Silver" emerged in England by the 13th century. The minimum Sterling Silver Standard within the U.K. has been historically set at the STERLING standard (92.5 %) purity and this is represented by the Lion, either PASSANT for English or Lion RAMPANT for Scottish. BEWARE of MEXICAN Silver on eBay with just a '925' Mark, which alone, is not a Hallmark & does NOT necessarily mean Sterling Silver! THE USA & Canada uses 92.5% for their minimum Sterling Content!

Brittania Silver

Britannia silver is an alloy of Silver containing 95.84% Silver. This Standard of Silver, was introduced in England by Act of Parliament in 1697 to replace Sterling Silver as the obligatory standard for items of Silver. The Lion Passant Gardant Hallmark denoting Sterling was replaced with "the figure of a woman commonly called Britannia", and the Leopard's Head Mark of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths was replaced with a "Lion's Head Erased". Britannia standard silver was first introduced by the British government as part of the great Recoinage Scheme of William III from 1696, when attempts were made to limit the clipping and melting of Sterling Silver Coinage. It was thought that by maintaining a higher standard for Silver there would be less incentive to put the newly issued Sterling Coins in the melting pot. Sterling silver was approved again for use by Silversmiths from 1 June 1720, and thereafter Britannia Silver has remained an optional standard for silver assay in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Since the Hallmarking changes of 1 January 1999, Britannia Silver has been denoted by the millesimal fineness hallmark '958', with the Symbol of Britannia being applied optionally.

About SEVRES, French Porcelain:

Sevres Porcelain traces its roots in France to early craftsmen who had small manufacturing operations in such places as Lille, Rouen. St. Cloud, and most notably Chantilly. It is from Chantilly that a cadre of workers migrated to the Chateau de Vincennes near Paris to form a larger porcelain manufactory in 1738. French King Louis XV, perhaps inspired by his rumored relationship with mistress Madame de Pompadour, took an intense interest in porcelain and moved the operation in 1756 to even larger quarters in the Paris suburb of Sevres. Sevres was also conveniently near the home of Madame de Pompadour and the King's own Palace at Versailles.

From the outset the king's clear aim was to produce Sevres Porcelain that surpassed the established Saxony works of Meissen and Dresden. Though the French lacked an ample supply of kaolin, a required ingredient for hard-paste porcelain (pate dure), their soft-paste porcelain (pate tendre) was fired at a lower temperature and was thus compatible with a wider variety of colors and glazes that in many cases were also richer and more vivid. Unglazed white Sevres Porcelain "biscuit" figurines were also a great success. However, soft-paste Sevres Porcelain was more easily broken. Therefore, early pieces of Sevres Porcelain that remain intact have become rare indeed.

About the time when Napoleon Bonaparte named himself Emperor of France (1804), a new director was named for the Sevres Porcelain Manufactory. Alexandre Brongniart, highly educated in many fields, resurrected Sevres Porcelain. Soft-paste porcelain was eliminated altogether thanks to the earlier discovery of kaolin near Limoges. For 4 decades until his death, Brongniart presided over monumental progress for Sevres Porcelain, catering not only to Napoleon himself, but at last to include the more financially profitable mid-priced market in the emerging middle class.

18th Century 'Fermiers Généreaux, 1789 French Silver Halllmarks