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Worldwide Auction Listings Guideline Changes

For a variety of reasons we are updating some of the guidelines we’ve been using to decide what auction items we will include in the Worldwide Auctions Section of the website. We have determined that our primary research and reporting mission will not be adversely affected by these changes, and they will free up additional time to further that mission. And we can and will make occasional exceptions to these guidelines if doing so comports with our mission.

Also, when we say we won’t include the following items, think about how we list auctions. We use one item from an auction that we picture and highlight, and then described or link to other items in that auction. You see a picture of one item, but we tell you there are others. So exclude means the excluded items cannot be that highlighted (pictured) item. If an auction has only one item, and it’s excluded, we will not list that auction.

1. Damaged pieces: We are cutting out almost all damaged pieces from listings in the future. A minor nick on a base or rim may not disqualify a piece, but serious damage (cracks, larger chips, holes, serious polishing, restoration, etc.) will almost always result in the piece not being listed. We advise typical collectors not to purchase pieces with cracks, serious damage, holes, etc. Keep in mind there may be an issue with a piece that we just miss, or that we decide to list anyway for whatever reason. We are not representing anything to do with the condition or the authenticity of any item we list. Also keep in mind that this first change and all the others that follow are just guidelines and there will be exceptions. There is a disclaimer at the bottom of the auctions page for added information.

2. Pieces with added material: We are cutting out almost all items that have later metal trimmed areas including rims and bases, and any other kinds of additions or more than very minor alterations. Typical collectors should avoid such items based on the treatment they receive in the market in terms of value and salability. And of course, they are no longer original R. Lalique items once they are altered.

3. Pieces with missing material: We are cutting out almost all items that are missing pieces or parts. Examples are perfume bottles missing the stopper, a box bottom missing the lid etc.

4. Pieces with swapped material: We are cutting out almost all items that have a wrong piece such as a lamp with the wrong shade, a box with the wrong bottom etc. And this is a good place to give a specific example of an exception. We listed the Oreilles Perroquets Perfume Bottle even though it has the wrong stopper. However it’s an extremely rare and important bottle and we would not miss the chance of documenting the appearance of the bottle (with appropriate information about the stopper).

5. Pieces from auction houses that have sold fakes or engaged in other sharp practices: We have started to cut out auction houses that have a history of selling fakes or misrepresented pieces from having their items included in the auction listings. So examples include not just selling fakes, but also such things as misrepresenting the ages of items. This includes auction houses that we notify about a fake (almost always with documentation identifying what the fake really is) that go ahead and offer the misrepresented fake notwithstanding the evidence. And about other sharp practices, that would include purposefully misleading information about any item, including structuring a lot description or an entire catalogue or presentation in a way that can deceive typical collectors about any of the lots in that sale.

6. Pieces from stores that that have weekly or monthly sales as part of a retail marketing strategy: There are retail stores and dealer stall type locations that run regular auctions with high reserve merchandise that hardly ever changes much, and we see the same items over and over again. We typically don’t list those kinds of auctions.

7. Item Overkill: We may not list an auction where the item or items are extremely common pieces for which we have a huge number of examples in the catalogue, and that are valued in the low to mid-hundreds of dollars when in excellent original condition. There are several reasons for this including just a lack of time as we have lost contributors during the past few years. Note: We are always looking for help!

8. Online auctions such as Ebay: Online auctions that are not conducted by physical auction houses have a different set of guidelines and are not affected by the above changes.

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