by Jim Kempster
Would you buy a Rolex watch for $89 from a man on the street or a stranger on an internet auction site when you know that a Rolex can easily sell for $10,000? Hopefully not. We all should know that any item that is in demand will spawn cheap imitations that only superficially resemble the real thing. Maybe we hope that the seller doesn't know what he has, that we have found the deal of a lifetime, but more often than not the dealer knows exactly what he is selling- a piece of junk designed to deceive the trusting buyer or inexperienced collector!
Since the price of porcelain manufactured by Reinhold Schlegelmilch began to rise in the early 1970s, some dealers tried to increase the "supply" available by applying fake marks to unmarked porcelain that resembled genuine R.S. pieces. Eventually, manufacturers in Asia began to copy molds and décor (not very successfully), and offer reproductions that were ready-made for the unscrupulous dealer in so-called antiques.
These modern fakes (I find it hard to call them reproductions because they do not have any of the fine qualities of the genuine article) are not to be confused with look-alike pieces that you will find from time to time. These pieces were produced by companies in competition with the R.S. company for a share of the market.It seems that once one company introduced a new line that sold well, someone else would try to capitalize on its success by bringing out their own version. The Erdmann Schlegelmilch company marked much of their early output "Depon", an abbreviation of the German word "Deponiert" (meaning registered or protected by law) to discourage copying by their competitors. I wonder if it worked? Here are two examples of look-alike pieces, not modern fakes, just the result of business competition. They are properly marked by their manufacturers, but are almost twins to well known R.S. molds.
Copyright 2009-2012 Jim Kempster