It is a well known fact that we can all make mistakes when describing something. We think we know what it is but we learn we are wrong. This is the nature of the beast. The beast being the knowledge one is expected to know buying and selling and collecting antiques. Collectors and dealers including specialists learn either by their mistakes or they don’t.

I can tell you the story of two New Hall tea sets I bought in Arizona at a shop I used to visit whenever I was in the city where the shop was situated.

My buying trip wasn’t going. This is a situation where more mistakes are likely to occur. Why? Because I am trying to hard. So I end up buying these two

New Hall services thinking if they have 5% chance of being rare the $200 they cost me I couldn’t go wrong. How wrong was I? That was 20 years ago. I still have them in stock. The packing and shipping cost me $600.

They were authentic Newhall. What they were not however were any of the rarer patterns where I could have earned a four figure amount. Caveat Emperor “Buyer Beware”. This should apply to me as well.

So you are learning I am jack of all trades where it relates to many areas of ceramics and Oriental Works of Art. If something requires more of a scholarly research then even I need to ask the expert. However where 19th century Meissen is concerned. This is my real area of expertise as well as plenty of other European and Oriental Ceramics.

From time to time here at the Meissen Man don’t be surprised if I write about something antique that has no relation with Meissen. Whenever I go to museums like the V & A I am captivated by the many different genres on display.

Enough about me. Now back on to a subject that is much discussed on my Blog; The mistakes auction salesrooms make.

My job as an antiques dealer would be made much easier because time is valuable for me and I prefer reading an accurate description than one with errors.

The challenge for many auction salesrooms is that a specialist or general valuer may get to see an item, know what it is and then give it to a junior or assistant. They will not have the expertise and as a result, hey presto, an incorrect description. An assumption of what the piece may be but not necessarily an accurate one.

The following lot reads; 19th Century Meissen porcelain figure of Tailor riding on Goat, 19cm high, underglaze blue crossed swords.

I don’t need to see the crossed swords mark to know the colour of it is likely to be pale blue with a dot or star below the sword. Most likely looking at the rococo type border seen on the base it is a later 19th century French copy.

The Meissen Man