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Pierre Leblache – Hardweejun On Ebay – Buyer Beware

Pierre Leblache is an Ebay seller doing business under the screen name Hardweejun. But here at World Headquarters he’s known as Johnny Shoe Trees! **

He’s had a questionable listing or two over the years, and we thought it’s about time to bring one to your attention.

Here is a link to the latest questionable offering:

René Lalique 1926: Flacon “Parfum B” pour Lucien Lelong. Bouchon Coincé, TBE ***

Lucien LeLong Parfum B Perfume Bottle 1926

The message from the title is easy enough to understand. Obviously a Rene Lalique bottle :).

Ebay has pretty strict guidelines about spamming listing titles for a variety of good reasons. These reasons can be summarized (by us) as follows: Titles are for saying what you are selling! They are not for saying what you aren’t selling. Here, JST starts right out: Rene Lalique! Wonder why?

Obviously we know of no evidence that the bottle shown in the ad and pictured here was made by Rene Lalique.

In the “take from this what you will” department, it’s interesting how the description for this particular ad is in French! When we viewed the seller’s other items at the time of writing this, all 8 of his other ads were in English. But no matter, as the title proclaims “Rene Lalique”, who cares if you can’t read or understand French ****. And such a bargain for under $100. Hardly seems worth the effort typing up all that French language gobbledegook *****.

We once wrote this New York seller to ask him to backup a long-winded and involved claim in an ad essentially stating that a particular perfume bottle was authentic per Lalique company documents. He replied that all those documents were at his French country house! Surprise! That was some time ago. Obviously we never got to see any documents.

As always, we are happy to be corrected if we have our facts wrong. So if anyone has any authoritative evidence close-at-hand showing the bottle in this article is a Rene Lalique Perfume Bottle, please let us know. In the meantime, be careful out there.

UPDATE: April 16th, 2014

Another ridiculous listing has appeared from Hardweejun, this time Item No. 371043589156 titled “Rene Lalique 1937: Original “Tzigane” Bottle for Corday. VG Cond. No Label.”

The bottle has no R. Lalique signature. This is excused in the description with the crazy comment as follows: “Lalique did not sign the bottles he made for parfumeurs (except occasionally for his best friends and clients such as Coty or Worth) and he usually only signed the bottles sold empty in his store.”

This nutty claim is of course contrary to the facts.

The Tzigane Perfume Bottle for Corday was introduced in 1938. It had the words Tzigane and Cordy Paris molded into the glass on the side of the bottle, and the molded signature R. Lalique on the underside. Conveniently, we have a photograph of the underside of an R. Lalique Tzigane Perfume Bottle which is shown below in the right hand photo with a molded R. Lalique signature. And even more conveniently, you can buy this molded signature Tzigane bottle right here if you are looking for one! We put the photo of the underside of the Hardweejun bottle on the left, right next to the R. Lalique molded signature Tzigane photo on the right so you can see for yourself if there is any kind of difference that might be of interest.

Tzigane Perfume Bottle For Corday With No R. Lalique Signature On The Underside Offered by HardweejunTzigane Perfume Bottle For Corday Molded R. Lalique Signature On The Underside

A couple closing points about this. We always say don’t buy signatures, because there are so many fake signatures out there. But for this model, there are Tzigane bottles that are very close to Lalique’s original design, that were not made by Rene Lalique. And here, you wouldn’t be buying the signature, you would be buying no signature. That brings us to our second point. For most collectors, it’s best to avoid the convoluted explanation of why there is no signature on a piece that someone is trying to sell you. Instead, stick with pieces that stand on their own, but are backed up by an authentic signature. You want the piece to authenticate the signature, and not the other way around. Here you have a convoluted explanation for why there is no signature. Why would a typical collector get down in this mud trying to figure this all out, when there are obvious authentic R. Lalique Tzigane bottles for sale all the time that don’t require some crazy (or any) explanation?

And our final thought: When you go to sell your new no signature purchase however many years down the road, will you be prepared to tell that same story to your prospective purchaser?

Once again, be careful out there.

End of April 16th, 2014 Update

Start Update April 7th, 2018

Really?

Here is the listing language along with one photo. All of the text that follows in this update is the verbatim listing language without changes except bolding the text for a couple of the most amusing sentences.

Rene-Lalique-1920-Opalescent-Glass-Statuette-034-Naiade-034-5-2-034-Signed-VG

Naiade Statuette Being Sold By Hardweejun Claiming The Base Was Made As ShownContrary to what is often written even in respected publications, René Lalique’s 1920 “Naïade” (Water Nymph) figurine never was a car mascot. Lalique called it a “statuette” and it did not have the standard base fittable over a car radiator. The Marcilhac book is quite explicit, sorting the mascots and the statuettes some 100 pages apart.

“Naïade” represents a nymph listening to a sea shell. The opalescent mermaid-like body is suggested with fish scales on the lower part of the statuette, but the top is most definitely human and feminine, with exquisitely displayed hair, arms, breasts and especially bosom (photos 4,5,6). In the whole Lalique production, “Naïade” is the most revealing and Rubens-like. While the base seems narrow, it is perfectly balanced, an intact original and not a reduction, one of three different bases with which the statuette came. This explains why the signature, R LALIQUE in raised letters, is placed mid-body (photo 7, to the right of the scales) and not on the base. It is photographed larger in photos 10 and 11.

“Naïade” is repertoried and photographed in the large book by Felix Marcilhac, the unofficial “Lalique Bible”, on page 399 of the 2011 French printing in the “Statuettes” section (not “Bouchons de Radiateur”), under reference 832 (photo 12). The caption specifies that the figurine was produced until WW2, never made again afterwards.

The condition is very good. with no chip, ding or any structural damage. There is one defect, though, from origin: a bubble inside the glass. It is visible when looked at straight (photo 3, lower part right), it otherwise appears as a spot in the glass (photos 2,4,5). There is no other damage.

End of April 7th, 2018 Update.

**This seller once had a pair of used loafers for sale on Ebay for something like $800. And in the photos showing the old shoes, they had shoe trees in them. BUT, when you read the fine print in the ad, even though shown in the photo, the shoe trees were not included! That’s right, for $800 no shoe trees! Apparently the expression really is: Keep your friends close and your shoe trees closer! And there you have it: JST!

*** TBE = Tres Bon Etat (very good condition). TPR = Tres Pas R.Lalique!

**** Here is a link to an article with the notorious video of President Obama making fun of the poor French language skills of Americans.

***** Gobbledegook is something that’s hard to understand. Think mumbo jumbo, or the expression “It’s all Greek to me!”, that descends from a line in Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Ceasar.

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