I was cruising online the other day and came upon this pitcher for sale by a legitimate antiques dealer.
The pitcher is a fake. Not only is it a bad reproduction but to add insult to injury it bears a fake Etruscan mark on the reverse. This is not an Etruscan design.
I'm sure the dealer selling it has no idea it is fake either. No legitimate dealer would risk their reputation by selling an obvious forgery. The pitcher it is copying is show below, an unmarked American majolica pitcher by the Arsenal Pottery.
This pitcher above is being sold on Ebay as unmarked Etruscan, no doubt because of the presence of this copy. This form of disinformation only confuses legitimate buyers and sellers.
The reproduction has been available for several years now. Goodness knows how many honest dealers and collectors it has taken in.
The mark is easy to detect as counterfeit. Like the fake mark on the base of the so called "Devil" mug the mark is reversed. (See our post on the Devil mug here.)
Unfortunately, the presence of fakes like this on the market do no good for anyone except the original seller. They demean the market and fool honest people.
There is another reproduction of the same pitcher also available. This one is not marked and is clearly sold as a reproduction by a company that retails reproductions. These unfortunately show up on the secondary market and are sold as antique by ignorant dealers. They are very successful at fooling people.
I would encourage anyone who sees these reproductions to say something to the dealer to get these things off the market or at least have them marked as reproductions. There will always be reproductions so long as there is a dishonest dollar to be made but that doesn't mean we should stand by and allow the market to accept them as old.