Renaissance Antiques of Davenport Iowa, in the person of owner Naim Bouchareb, a regular seller on Ebay under the Ebay screen name Dounial, sells a lot of R Lalique items online. Some of these listings raise serious questions. We have been motivated to write about this R Lalique Seller for a variety of reasons including complaints and negative comments that have come in thru and because of the website, and also a recent couple of listings that squarely highlight the questions.
We have previously written in these pages, that if you are going to purchase from a dealer, that it is extremely important that your dealer be honest and competent. It’s also important that you are armed with the most information possible, which is the best defense against regrets and the various dark arts practiced throughout any collecting field.
Here we have what in our opinion is as fake a signature as can be found. The signature resides on a piece sold on Ebay by Renaissance Antiques. The piece in the cached version**** of the Dounial Ebay Listing sports the signature on the underside of the base as shown above. This item has graced the pages of the R Lalique Police Report Section for some time.
Stranger than the signature, is its location on the underside of the base. Note in the photo the dark little pads under the piece and a signature that appears in the photo to be raised out of the glass. Of course, if you put a raised signature on the underside of a piece that has a flat bottom:
A - The signature will touch the surface of whatever it’s sitting on!
B - The piece will not sit level due to the signature being elevated from the rest of the base!
C - And the signature itself will be scraped up and maybe even off, and worn totally over time.
And there you have the little green pads, apparently to protect the signature and level the piece.
How many pieces do you have of authentic R Lalique, where the signature is raised on the flat part of the underside; an underside that by design comes in direct contact with the surface the piece is sitting on? Seriously, whoever put the signature on this piece wasn’t thinking it through, wasn’t familiar with R Lalique, or just didn’t care. Or there is a fourth possibility!
Many buyers of glass assume that a molded signature is a mark of authenticity. We have repeatedly stressed on RLalique.com that you should never buy a signature; that the signature does not authenticate the piece. In fact, the piece must authenticate the signature. In the example at hand, whether this piece is a post war Cristal Lalique reproduction or a Czech copy, the addition of the molded signature would typically be intended to give an assurance of authenticity of the piece being an original work of Rene Lalique.
But these “molded” signatures can be faked; with not too much more work than scratching in a phony signature with a sharp object. In simple terms, the forger protects with a stencil of some kind, the outline of the desired signature, and then using acid, cuts back everything else on the underside of the base a millimeter or two, leaving a raised “molded” signature that was not cut away with the acid. See Fake Lalique Signatures for other examples similar to the signature on this Coq Nain.
So here we have a regular seller of R Lalique pieces selling a piece that does not even appear right at first glance. What does the R Lalique Dealer, this regular seller of R Lalique, this Antiques Dealer, this Specialist have to say about this piece in his ad?
“AMAZING! R. LALIQUE FRANCE “COQ NAIN” CLEAR/FROSTED” and “Condition: very good condition, small chip on the base rim”
Who is the likely buyer of this piece? A beginning or novice collector that doesn’t know. Someone from the very group of collectors from which long term serious collectors emerge, assuming they don’t have the kinds of regrets to sour them on the entire collecting field that might be caused by a signature like the one on this piece.
The time spent to read up a little on Faked Lalique works and the related subjects covered by that link, may save you many regrets. And of course a little independent Lalique Consulting can go a long way toward avoiding bad experiences.
And if you liked the Coq Nain, you’ll like this cached version**** of a second Renaissance Antiques Ebay listing just as well. A bit of a play on an old Wendy’s**** advertising slogan “Where’s the Beef?”, we are inclined to ask Renaissance Antiques, Where’s the Rim? Oh yea …. “Excellent condition” so says the seller.
Compare the Dounial Ebay Domremy Vase pictured here with the photo of the Rene Lalique Domremy Vase below that came up for auction last year.
Renaissance Antiques thru their Ebay screen name Dounial is also featured on the website TiffanyFakes.com! Hardly surprising.
Is Dounial, Mr. Naim Bouchareb, Renaissance Antiques, guilty of nothing more than ignorance? Is it omission or commission? Responsibility or irresponsibility? Regardless, the result is the same for a buyer that relies on “Amazing!” and “very good condition” and bizarre “molded” signatures blazoned across the bottom of car mascots or paperweights.
And this is why, if you are buying from a dealer, that having a competent and honest dealer (along with getting independent advice concerning your purchases) is so important. If you know a fair amount about R Lalique, and if you are careful, and if you purchase from many sources at auctions, online, thru individuals, etc., you may make a few mistakes and have a couple of regrets. But if you are buying regularly from the same dealer, a dealer that is not competent and honest, you may end up with many, many regrets. It is for this reason that we emphasized previously (see Lalique Bacchantes article) and reiterate here the great importance to you as a buyer, that if you are buying from a dealer, you should ensure that the dealer is honest and competent.
And how much did Renaissance Antiques make on the Coq Nain sale? They sold the piece for $399, a lot less even than the few pieces of silver you hear tell about.
UPDATE October 30, 2010:
New Dounial Ebay LIsting: R. LALIQUE FRANCE “ROSES EN RELIEF” DRESSER BOX W/ LID
Here is a link to a cached version**** of another listing from Renaissance Antiques selling as Dounial on Ebay. The actual name of the listed box, shown here on the right in a photo from the Ebay listing, is Coppelia. It is a modern post war crystal box made by Cristal Lalique. The Cristal Lalique model number is 10578, which is documented along with the name of the box in the below photo from the book Lalique Par Marie-Claude Lalique on Page 251.
A nice modern crystal item. Certainly not an R. Lalique France “Roses in Relief” Box as described in the title to the Renaissance Antiques Ebay ad. Curiously, we cannot see the signature on the Ebay box in the photos that Renaissance Antiques has used in the ad. Curioser, the ad does not state what the signature says!
UPDATE July 18, 2011: Get Your R. Lalique Perfume Bottle - It is Signed!!
In July of 2011, Ebay Dounial put up for auction Item No. 370527285412, a modern crystal Clairefontane Perfume Bottle described by Renaissance Antiques in the Auction Title as Circa 1945 R. Lalique. Here is a link to the Cached Image Version**** of the Dounial Ebay Perfume Bottle. At least they show a (very dark) photo of the signature at the bottom of the ad; a signature that indicates it is a post war crystal reproduction Perfume Bottle by Cristal Lalique. What makes that so great is in the auction description they again say it’s an R. Lalique Perfume Bottle and add some gravitas by stating “… it is signed.” Taken by itself, that last quote is true, it’s just too bad it isn’t signed R. Lalique. We can already see the next ad: “Get your signed Picasso Painting?” And you look and see the painting is signed “Renaissance Antiques”.
UPDATE August 14, 2011: Get Your R. Lalique
Drinking Glasses oops Vases!!
In August of 2011 Dounial put up at auction two different listings for Marienthal drinking glasses but advertised them as vases! Hmmmm, wonder what the motive was for that. Get your “MAGNIFICENT 1927 R LALIQUE AMBER MARIENTHAL VASE”, and don’t worry if you have a strange urge to use it for a soda or even a mixed drink!! Here are the cached versions **** of the two listings: Dounial Ebay Vase 1 and Ebay Dounial Vase 2! What will he think of next?
Oh yea, don’t drink the flowers.
UPDATE September 24, 2011
Get Your R. Lalique
damaged perfume bottle oops Bud Vase!!
“SPECTACULAR R. LALIQUE BUD VASE WITH NUDES”
The Ebay item, the “BUD VASE” which is shown above and to the left, appears to be an Ambre Antique Perfume Bottle that is missing the stopper, the entire rim, the neck, and more. Compare that to the Ambre Antique Rene Lalique Perfume Bottle made for Coty on the right! Pity the unsuspecting vase buyer. Get your one of a kind, newly discovered R. Lalique Bud Vase, so rare, it’s not documented as a vase, but it is signed
UPDATE December 17, 2011
The Buffalo Bill Cody Perfume Bottle!
“MAGNIFICENT C.1920 R. LALIQUE PERFUME BOTTLE MADE FOR THE CODY COMPANY”
Yes friends, who knew Buffalo Bill Cody was in the perfume business?
Yet another exciting discovery brought to you by Dunial of Renaissnce Antiques on Ebay! And as usual, the best thing about this bottle; the mark of authenticity is ” …… it is also signed.” Now that’s comforting. Too bad it’s not signed R. Lalique of course, but rest assured ” …… it is also signed.”
Here’s a link to the cached version of an Ebay Listing where you’ll see someone bought the thing for $199!
If anyone has any documentation that the Buffalo Bill Bottle is an authentic R. Lalique Perfume Bottle as represented in the advertisement, please forward it to us. Or if anyone has an old photo of Buffalo Bill holding this bottle, please send that to us also.
UPDATE April 28, 2012: Get Your Lalique Studios Penguin Paperweight!!
Just when you thought you’d seen everything, here’s a link to the cached version**** of a great Naim Bouchareb listing for a penguin paperweight made by Zellique Studios. If you take a look at the listing, you’ll see it’s signed Zellique Studios! But Dounial decided to sell it as Lalique Studios! You cannot make this stuff up. We also include a link to an Ebay listing from someone that properly identified the paperweight (by reading the clear signature on the piece), sold it as Zellique, and got more money with a truthful advertisement than Mr. Bouchareb did passing the thing off as Lalique. You can draw your own conclusions about what pays and what does not pay.
And the band plays on.
*** Wendy’s was founded in Columbus, Ohio in 1969 by one of the great (and regretfully late) American Entrepreneurs, Dave Thomas. There is a persistent and widespread story going around that he named the restaurant chain after his daughter Wendy. But he didn’t have a daughter named Wendy! His daughter’s name was Melinda Lou. Of course at a young age she couldn’t pronounce her own name, and got the nickname Wendy, a name she could pronounce, which makes the whole story true enough. To think we’ve really been eating at Melinda Lou’s all this time.
****You may have to use the zoom function of your browser (or whatever program opens images for you) to get the cached image to expand in the window if it does not appear full size. After clicking on the link to the item, a new window will open with the cached image in it. On a Mac, just click on the image and see if that expands it. If not, press the apple key and click on the cached image in your browser window. On a PC, hold down the alt key while clicking on the cached image.
October 23rd, 2010 Update: Switched Item Link To Cached Image Version
January 10, 2011 Update: Switched Roses Box Link to Cached Image Version
July 18, 2011 Update: Added paragraph to discuss current offering of a modern crystal perfume bottles as R. Lalique Circa 1945.
August 14, 2011 Update: Added paragraph to discuss offering Marienthal drinking glasses as vases.
August 15, 2011 Update: Updated links. Switched Marienthal drinking glass listings to Cached Image Versions. Both sold listings strangely disappeared from Ebay already. Dounial had also re-listed what appeared to be the same yellow amber Marienthal Glass (the “vase” that had just sold?) and that re-listing also disappeared. We also updated the Clairefontaine Perfume link to the Cached Image Version from our July update, as this listing also disappeared from Ebay along with the aforementioned other listings.
December 23, 2011 Update: Switched Bud Vase / Damaged Perfume Bottle link to Cached Image Version
April 28, 2012 Update: Added modern Zelique Studios Penguin Dounial sold as R.Lalique and switched the Wild Bill Cody Perfume Bottle link to the cached version.