Dolls' Houses Past & Present

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Rosemary
Member
Posts: 2508

I have been browsing through various For Sale sites and am getting increasingly disturbed by the provenance and substance of some items. A big trap for the unwary. A candlestick, just a single one of a pair that could be bought cheaply not long ago, now at 10 times the original price for the two. I have a pair and they are lovely but they are not sterling silver. They're an elegant design and I wish that I had bought more - although I believe that they are still available from some shops selling miniatures at or close to the original price I paid! 


Again, a metal coffee mill, not antique, and not expensive or rare, at a greatly-inflated price. It may well be manufactured in China  for Shackmann, I have one, but I have thrown the box it came in away. Plastic headed "Grecons", the list of incorrectly labelled items is endless. I fear for new collectors in this climate because auction and "buy now" sites seem to exercise no control on false descriptions, some of which may be from ignorance and some may not.


And what is "REAL Sterling silver" when listed amongst other "sterling silver" items. Silver is still not a really expensive commodity - the expense comes with the skill of a silversmith's work creating these minute items and they are hall-marked too. I think that some tiny cheap items are dipped in silver - like the candlesticks, and there is a certain tray design which has all the look and feel of silver, and it tarnishes, but has no hall mark and is not expensive to buy. These are lovely items but should not be re-sold on at unrealistic prices.


So it is the old saying of Buyer Beware, so do your research throughly before you bid or purchase.

November 11, 2017 at 6:19 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Val Hill
Member
Posts: 459

It's always been 'buyer beware' in the antique and collectible market. My pet hate at the moment is a 'made to order' carpet at a mind boggling price which has been copied from a book, (I'm not even sure if it's legal to sell something copied from a pattern book as your own work). It's not just the internet though, no trader is an expert at everything, we've seen a fair few dodgy prices and descriptions at antique fairs.

November 11, 2017 at 3:43 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Rosemary
Member
Posts: 2508

Brooksey says: In a post which I have removed, I commented that I have seen miniatures for sale online from the USA at apparently very high selling prices compared to their usual retail prices, which actually included international shipping to the UK in their quoted prices. Depending on the level of insurance offered, these postage costs can add considerably to the price of an item - in some cases by a factor of 10.


Brooksey - it wasn't the usual site and I must admit that I didn't look to postage costs, I was disturbed by the item and price. Once I saw the price of the coffee mill, I looked no further. It's a right game, ain't it?

November 11, 2017 at 4:16 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Zoe H
Administrator
Posts: 1740

A reminder here of our site Terms of Use which state that: "Commenting on any sellers' trading practices, or the prices asked or reached, is not allowed, whether in the discussion forums or in captions or comments on photos."  For the reasons behind this, please see under 'Respectful Comments' here: http://www.dollshousespastandpresent.com/termsofuse.htm#933749691

--

Zoe

https://trulymadlytiny.blogspot.co.uk

http://grecondale.com

November 11, 2017 at 4:36 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Brooksey
Administrator
Posts: 1726

Fair cop, Zoe! I've removed my post and edited some of the others - I hope that they're within the rules now. 


I do think that occasional warnings like this one from Rosemary should be allowed, provided that they're are sufficiently generalised. There are many traps for the inexperienced or unwary out there!



November 12, 2017 at 4:05 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Rosemary
Member
Posts: 2508

Apologies if I have transgressed but when I see almost fraudulent descriptions my sense of honesty gets my blood boiling and I feel that such things should be vetted by the selling site's administrators. I remember some little dogs that I wanted were suddenly removed because someone had said that they were not bone but ivory, to the annoyance of the seller who swore that they were not ivory but bone. Point is, they - whoever the administrators are, took notice and action in that case. The seller objected and was allowed to relist them and I managed to eventually buy them and to my not too expert eyes - and they are very tiny - they look like bone to me.  But I fear that the best of the tiny mice that scamper over tiled floors are very often ivory- the difference between the ivory and bone is very marked on such a really minute object. Now the selling of ivory is getting really tightened up, it will mean that the tiny dolls house carved furniture items will only be able to be traded between museums. I don't own any such  things but some do. Maybe the only answer will be to donate them to museums.

November 12, 2017 at 7:47 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Rebecca Green
Site Owner
Posts: 2083

Thank you, Zoe, for the reminder about our Terms of Use.


As Val has said, it has always been a case of 'buyer beware' when buying antiques and collectables. The internet has made information much more readily accessible to buyers - it is now possible to search on an image, so even if an item has been wrongly identified, other similar or identical items can be found and compared. Websites like ours also make information available, and both buyers and sellers can make use of it.


Sellers don't know everything, either. An incorrect description or attribution may be given because it's what a seller believes, or has been told by someone else - and sellers who are not expert in the field may not see or understand differences which are important to us (eg in distinguishing a Triang 60 series from the many very similar models from other makers).


Online selling sites are concerned about not breaking laws. It is not illegal to mistakenly describe a dolls house as Triang when it's not, but it is illegal to sell ivory of less than a certain age (in some countries), or any ivory (in others). Online sales sites do have terms of use for sellers (and buyers), so any practices that are believed to be fraudulent should be reported to them. Ultimately, though, unless it's illegal to sell an item, it's up to the buyer to decide whether they are happy to pay the asking price or auction price for the item as shown and described.

--

Rebecca :)

November 12, 2017 at 9:52 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Ninja
Member
Posts: 117

100% agreement Rosemary. Its not just antiques & collectbles but seems to be all areas of the marketplace. I have seen second hand motorcycle parts at more than the price of the new part direct from the manufacturer - it just shows the importance of research & ensuring the head rules the heart...not so easy for those of a more impulsive nature like me!!! :D

November 12, 2017 at 11:01 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Trumble's Mum
Member
Posts: 588

I am sure that only a very few people really set out to mislead. Sellers are often as lacking in knowledge about the items they have picked up at estate and car boot sales or inherited from their parents etc. as some potential buyers might be. Sometimes that can work in favour of buyers and you can get a bargain, but at other times the seller inflates the price through lack of knowledge.

 Rosemary's comment about 'real' sterling silver made me smile. I usually make steak pie for my husband but, being in temporary accommodation with an unreliable oven, I bought one last week. Apparently, it was made with 'real beef'......... as opposed to the plastic and plaster varieties that my dolls' house people eat, perhaps?!



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November 12, 2017 at 11:54 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Jan
Member
Posts: 1705

Trumble's Mum at November 12, 2017 at 11:54 AM

I am sure that only a very few people really set out to mislead. Sellers are often as lacking in knowledge about the items they have picked up at estate and car boot sales or inherited from their parents etc. as some potential buyers might be. Sometimes that can work in favour of buyers and you can get a bargain, but at other times the seller inflates the price through lack of knowledge.

 Rosemary's comment about 'real' sterling silver made me smile. I usually make steak pie for my husband but, being in temporary accommodation with an unreliable oven, I bought one last week. Apparently, it was made with 'real beef'......... as opposed to the plastic and plaster varieties that my dolls' house people eat, perhaps?!



Lol

November 12, 2017 at 2:19 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Jan
Member
Posts: 1705

The ivory and bone, I have no idea how to tell the difference.

November 12, 2017 at 2:20 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Val Hill
Member
Posts: 459

I think, Trumbles mum, that's it's to reassure customers that the beef didn't gallop and say 'neigh' when it was alive.

November 12, 2017 at 5:31 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Rosemary
Member
Posts: 2508

Ivory v. bone. I am not an expert on this - I know that there is a heat test that can be done but that is the extent of my knowlege. But to the eye, ivory is slightly yellow (like my ageing teeth!) and carves more smoothly. I am sure that my tiny mice are ivory and sometimes, when I see others for sale and compare - the bone ones are whiter and the carving "harder" e.g. not so buttery smooth. I am constantly campaigning for an end to the ivory trade but to destroy my mice would seem foolish, since they are about 100 years old.

It is the terrible greed of today - money for the poachers in poor countries, rich people seeking status symbols - which is causing such a catastrophy  to the elephant population. In past centuries ivory was an exotic rarity and most elephants were left to roam in peace. My apologies for straying a bit from the original thread but I am always on the animals side these days, neighing, mooing or trumpeting and preferably alive.

November 13, 2017 at 5:18 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Edel
Administrator
Posts: 483

Trumble's Mum at November 12, 2017 at 11:54 AM

I am sure that only a very few people really set out to mislead. Sellers are often as lacking in knowledge about the items they have picked up at estate and car boot sales or inherited from their parents etc. as some potential buyers might be. Sometimes that can work in favour of buyers and you can get a bargain, but at other times the seller inflates the price through lack of knowledge.

 Rosemary's comment about 'real' sterling silver made me smile. I usually make steak pie for my husband but, being in temporary accommodation with an unreliable oven, I bought one last week. Apparently, it was made with 'real beef'......... as opposed to the plastic and plaster varieties that my dolls' house people eat, perhaps?!



Lol Jenni - "real" beef is an interesting one! It made me think of Hunca Munca attacking the plaster food with the poker :)

--

Edel

https://www.flickr.com/photos/shero6820/

November 13, 2017 at 7:56 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Rebecca Green
Site Owner
Posts: 2083

Jan at November 12, 2017 at 2:20 PM

The ivory and bone, I have no idea how to tell the difference.

I googled this after reading Rosemary's post, Jan - there are some useful guides online.

--

Rebecca :)

November 13, 2017 at 8:27 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Rosemary
Member
Posts: 2508

I toook a look, Rebecca, and it is very interesting.

November 14, 2017 at 4:34 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Trumble's Mum
Member
Posts: 588

Val Hill at November 12, 2017 at 5:31 PM

I think, Trumbles mum, that's it's to reassure customers that the beef didn't gallop and say 'neigh' when it was alive.

Ah, of course! I forgot about the whole minced pony thing. How short my memory is!
Perhaps the Grecons re better with Triang and Kaybot brand food!

--


November 14, 2017 at 6:56 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Trumble's Mum
Member
Posts: 588

Edel at November 13, 2017 at 7:56 AM

Trumble's Mum at November 12, 2017 at 11:54 AM

I am sure that only a very few people really set out to mislead. Sellers are often as lacking in knowledge about the items they have picked up at estate and car boot sales or inherited from their parents etc. as some potential buyers might be. Sometimes that can work in favour of buyers and you can get a bargain, but at other times the seller inflates the price through lack of knowledge.

 Rosemary's comment about 'real' sterling silver made me smile. I usually make steak pie for my husband but, being in temporary accommodation with an unreliable oven, I bought one last week. Apparently, it was made with 'real beef'......... as opposed to the plastic and plaster varieties that my dolls' house people eat, perhaps?!



Lol Jenni - "real" beef is an interesting one! It made me think of Hunca Munca attacking the plaster food with the poker :)

Ah, my childhood favourite BP book - must get that out for my grandson soon. He loves dolls houses and has my childhood Brimtoy cleaning cupboard on a shelf in his room so he can brush the floor of his shoebox house. A 20 month old who is addicted to this site, he is prone to asking to 'see housies' when he sees the laptop is on. Is he our youngest photo gallery viewer, do you think?

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November 14, 2017 at 7:03 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Jan
Member
Posts: 1705

Thank you Rebecca and Rosemary.

November 15, 2017 at 8:53 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Rebecca Green
Site Owner
Posts: 2083

Trumble's Mum at November 14, 2017 at 7:03 AM

Edel at November 13, 2017 at 7:56 AM

Trumble's Mum at November 12, 2017 at 11:54 AM

I am sure that only a very few people really set out to mislead. Sellers are often as lacking in knowledge about the items they have picked up at estate and car boot sales or inherited from their parents etc. as some potential buyers might be. Sometimes that can work in favour of buyers and you can get a bargain, but at other times the seller inflates the price through lack of knowledge.

 Rosemary's comment about 'real' sterling silver made me smile. I usually make steak pie for my husband but, being in temporary accommodation with an unreliable oven, I bought one last week. Apparently, it was made with 'real beef'......... as opposed to the plastic and plaster varieties that my dolls' house people eat, perhaps?!



Lol Jenni - "real" beef is an interesting one! It made me think of Hunca Munca attacking the plaster food with the poker :)

Ah, my childhood favourite BP book - must get that out for my grandson soon. He loves dolls houses and has my childhood Brimtoy cleaning cupboard on a shelf in his room so he can brush the floor of his shoebox house. A 20 month old who is addicted to this site, he is prone to asking to 'see housies' when he sees the laptop is on. Is he our youngest photo gallery viewer, do you think?

Aww, that's wonderful, Jenni! 20 months would be hard to beat as the youngest viewer, I would think.

--

Rebecca :)

November 15, 2017 at 9:22 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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