Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => The Imperial Family => Topic started by: Forum Admin on November 26, 2011, 10:25:16 AM

Title: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: Forum Admin on November 26, 2011, 10:25:16 AM
Hi guys. We usually don't post much about what happens over on ebay, but almost got fooled ourselves by some faked photos of the Imperial Family.  They are selling for a lot of money and wanted to ask you guys to be very cautious about buying them.  The seller is "Oceanic Voyager".  The problem is this, some of his items are quite genuine, we have bought from him.  HOWEVER, recently there are a number of FAKED photos of the Imperial Family being listed.  I only discovered the scam accidentally, when a photograph of Olga Nicholievna which I KNOW was taken by Karl Hahn (Gahn) at the Alexander Palace was listed but was shown on an antique photo card stock from a MOSCOW photographer with NO imperial warrant and no Imperial Censor approval stamp.  THEN a photograph of Princess Dagmar (Marie Feodorovna) and her sister Alexandra, which I KNOW was taken in Copenhagen, appeared, AGAIN on a Moscow photographer's card.  Similaraly a Boissonas & Eggler portrait of Nicholas II was listed on a French "Cabinet Portrait" card, NOT the original B&E card with their stamp and Censor approval. What he does is this: Takes actual photographs of original photographs, then buys cheap original Russian photos, removes the worthless photos and glues the copies onto the old stock to make them look old!

BE VERY CAREFUL! We almost spent $500 on a photo of Nicholas, Alix, Serge and Ella at the Kremlin, which I know believe to be one of these FAKES!

Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: Carolath Habsburg on November 26, 2011, 10:54:34 AM
Romanovrussia. com also warned people about this user. What a moron to try to make money of people which doesnt know about this.
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: Eddie_uk on November 26, 2011, 01:15:20 PM
Funnily enough, I noticed this too. Oceanic Voyager was selling what he claimed was an item of Faberge which was clearly not, I messaged him and he was having none of it!

I could tell the Cabinet cards where fake, for example scratches to make them look aged which just didn't look right etc. It's a disgrace.

Can the seller be reported to eBay? Would they act I wonder?
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: Eddie_uk on November 26, 2011, 01:23:55 PM
Also, on his feedback all previous items are listed as "private" which shows he is covering his tracks. This is one of the reasons why i avoid eBay, unless I know the seller!
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: grandduchessella on November 26, 2011, 05:09:31 PM
I had posted this way back in 2004 (!):

I was re-reading Camera and the Tsars--I found it again! Actually, I haven't read all of it since I'm generally just looking at the photos, but anyway. It said that Russian photographers didn't enjoy a copyright before the 1890s or so, so some photographers (like Elfelt who I've seen listed on many photos & postcards) used to take photographs, re-photograph whole groups of  them and sell them as their own! Now that's chutzpah! I also can't image in was that easy back then with the big, bulky cameras but at least the subjects were stationary.  ;) I have some Elfelt prints and now I'mwondering about them.... :)

Could the seller perhaps have some of those kinds of photos and doesn't realize they aren't the original work? They are from the period just copied without proper credit at the time.
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: Carolath Habsburg on November 26, 2011, 05:41:49 PM
I dont know, maybe Romanovrussia bought one of those pictures and as an expert saw they were fake. This seller has one feedback against him saying "All his photos are fake. They are available in Moscow for $10 each. Beware buyer" in april of this year.


I just remember something that a flickr friend of mine went to some museum in russia and took several images to some Gds portraits and they were avalaible in hi res to everyone to download. Well,  early this year this ebay seller had THE SAME PICTURES MY FRIEND TOOK ON SALE AS PRINTS!. So, before he started to sell fraudulent CDVS,  he was stealing on flickr.
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: grandduchessella on November 26, 2011, 07:45:20 PM
It does sound pretty bad. If the FA had dealt with them w/o issue before, I wonder why they decided to go this route? Seems a 'get rich quick' way which will only eventually ruin their reputation and, perhaps (though ebay is pretty lax) get them banned. If they've dealt with experts before they couldn't have expected to get away with it for very long. Pretty short-sighted decision unless they just decided to take the money and run in the short-term. It's very hard to prove fraud to ebay though in many cases--the ony thing is to spread the word.
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: Eddie_uk on November 27, 2011, 03:18:57 AM
I think the seller is most certainly aware, the quantity he is selling I think suggests he himself is producing them and you can tell the are fake, they way he has tried to distress them etc.
Shame, some poor souls are spending 100's of pounds...
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: Forum Admin on November 27, 2011, 08:53:43 AM
It is a common trick we have seen before.  If a dealer has "some" genuine things, it gives credibility that his OTHER things are also genuine, which is what I think Oceanic Voyager is doing. These are not period photos. They are modern photos of period photos, deliberately mounted onto antique photo cards to give them the appearance of being old.  To me the key is that there are NO RETURNS! Any reputable dealer will always accept returns if what they sell is not what they claim it to be.  What is making us mad is that some people are spending $400-500 or more more these deliberate fake photographs.

Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: Forum Admin on November 27, 2011, 09:32:34 AM
Here are a few examples of Oceanic Voyager's FAKES for sale right now:
http://www.auctiva.com/hostedimages/showimage.aspx?gid=334495&image=526413644&images=526413644,526413665,526413659&formats=0,0,0&format=0
This photo is ACTUALLY the Boissonas & Eggler photo taken at the 1903 Costume Ball in St Petersburg!. Here it is on some no name photographer's card (KosnarskyO IN MOSCOW! an obvious fake...yet he describes it as "Antique Russian Photograph...Rare"

http://www.auctiva.com/hostedimages/showimage.aspx?gid=334495&image=524153750&images=524153750,524153797,524153735&formats=0,0,0&format=0
This image is ACTUALLY a Levitsky photograph of Nicholas II, but here is on some other photographer's card. ANOTHER FAKE for which some unsuspecting person has already bid over $200...

http://www.auctiva.com/hostedimages/showimage.aspx?gid=334495&image=524677380&images=524677380,524677402,524677360&formats=0,0,0&format=0
This is the photo of Dagmar and Alexandra, which I know was taken in Copenhagen, but here he has it on a Moscow photographer's card...and other FAKE...

http://www.auctiva.com/hostedimages/showimage.aspx?gid=334495&image=526199204&images=526199204,526199218,526199211&formats=0,0,0&format=0
This is of course the Boissonas & Eggler studio portrait of Nicholas II, here on a French "cabinet portrait" card!  FAKE.
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: Carolath Habsburg on November 27, 2011, 10:37:37 AM
And this is one of the prints stolen from my flickr friend gallery, which can be printed FOR FREE on Flickr.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sftrajan/3031624582/in/pool-96128845@N00

http://www.auctiva.com/hostedimages/showimage.aspx?gid=334495&image=409264136&images=409264136&formats=0&format=0
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: GrandDuchessIsabelle on November 27, 2011, 10:43:11 AM
This is such an awful thing to do. Are these thieves ever caught?
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: Svetabel on November 27, 2011, 01:16:11 PM
I've looked through every item of that 'seller'...any item is a fake! Such photographers - whose names we see in the bottom of those fakes - never took photos of the Imperial Family.
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: Forum Admin on November 27, 2011, 01:29:41 PM
No professional photographer took photos of the Imperial Family without prior permission from the Court. The approved photographers all had special functions as well. Levitsky took portraits. Boissonas & Eggler took portraits, Karl Hahn (Gan in Russian) took the outdoor photographs at special events and on board the Standart...Each original photo would be on card stock from the specific photographer and always had the Imperial Court Censor stamp of approval on the back. Always.

Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: RealAnastasia on November 27, 2011, 09:57:56 PM
I never, but NEVER purchase items at Ebay. People saids that some of them are really genuine, but there are so many unescrupulous sellers there that I don't feel sure of buying photos offered in this website.

RealAnastasia.
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: grandduchessella on November 28, 2011, 10:07:58 AM
Also, on his feedback all previous items are listed as "private" which shows he is covering his tracks. This is one of the reasons why i avoid eBay, unless I know the seller!

His feedback for up to one year is public. Only one person has left a negative comment (probably because you can only leave feedback if you purchase an item--not just spot fraudulent ones). That comment was about the fakery though: All his photos are fake. They are available in Moscow for $10 each. Beware buyer.

Where they can get you is that you can't force them to leave a comment/question that you send to them so there's no way to warn other potential buyers.
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: mishaxenia on December 01, 2011, 11:20:43 AM
I am also a collector, I am a pleasure to try and to acquire original photo of the Imperial Family,  from we admired and loved,   many vendors ebay are honest but this is a shame. They are happy for your signallings and we hope  end up these sales.
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: blessOTMA on December 01, 2011, 01:30:20 PM
Thank you for this post...the items routinely go for 100's of dollars. It's criminal
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: jalm on December 15, 2011, 02:01:24 PM
Beware of fake photographs - check the credibility of the seller. Why sell private and accept no returns ? Does one offer huge numbers of photographs ? Does the cardboard corrseponds with that one of the photographer who made the photo ?
People are selling photographs who look like antiques - do some research first !!
Jan
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: blessOTMA on December 26, 2011, 03:05:23 PM
This eBay seller is now offering a photo of Marie in her uniform with the  same scratches as another copy of this photo had which they sold some weeks ago.... Lord, at least put on new scratches! lol!
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: mishaxenia on December 28, 2011, 06:39:46 AM
An obvious fake. Observing its auctions I have since that offering and prices are diminished . We hope in the end of these dishonest sales
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: blessOTMA on December 28, 2011, 01:12:36 PM
An obvious fake. Observing its auctions I have since that offering and prices are diminished . We hope in the end of these dishonest sales
Indeed and the prices have come down, so word must be getting out thankfully. 
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: GrandDuchessIsabelle on December 29, 2011, 06:05:08 AM
I have just looked and some body is paying $76 for a very well known photo of Maria N, not including p&p.
Even odder, is that the seller has a 98.8% positive rating. How could this have happened if he is selling fakes?
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on December 29, 2011, 12:53:53 PM
He's now selling photos with "autographs!" That's risky. People would notice the autograph ink wasn't from a pen, but from the same ink as the rest of the image.
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: blessOTMA on December 29, 2011, 04:16:15 PM
I have just looked and some body is paying $76 for a very well known photo of Maria N, not including p&p.
Even odder, is that the seller has a 98.8% positive rating. How could this have happened if he is selling fakes?
lol no one wants to admit it ...or risk a negative rating in return? Also never underestimate the power of bold lying.
People think it must be real photos , because none would dare to lie so openly. But the seller  has  gotten sloppy  lately. Before they were careful not to offer  so many at once or copies  of the same photos close together in time. The Olga and Marie in thier uniforms were offered not long ago...and as I say, the Marie photo has the same" scratches" to fake  age. 
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: Forum Admin on December 30, 2011, 09:31:51 AM
I checked OceanicVoyager's ebay feedback rating as I wondered the same thing.  It seems he sells a lot of innocuous regular items to actually increase the positive feedback rating!

It seems his game is up and the word is spreading that his photos are all fakes.
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: Eddie_uk on December 30, 2011, 10:33:49 AM
I did fire off a few messages to his previous buyers informing them he was clearly selling fakes & to be aware, most replied saying they where aware of it.
Perhaps they where the buyers of regular legitimate items......
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: blessOTMA on December 30, 2011, 09:42:56 PM
A photo of Anastasia recently sold for over 400.00  and another copy of this photo is now for sale that looks exactly the same
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: GrandDuchessIsabelle on December 31, 2011, 04:17:40 AM
I am pleased to say that no one has, as yet, placed a bid for this:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Antique-Russian-Photo-Tsar-Nicholas-II-Tsarina-Alexandra-Family-Romanov-Framed-/220907281083?pt=Antiques_Decorative_Arts&hash=item3

$1,499.99????
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: Chris_H on January 05, 2013, 05:31:30 AM
I looked at this seller after reading this and there is, besides many "antique" pictures, a large silver ring with the imperial eagle on it, which is also listed as antique and rare....
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: Miek on March 28, 2013, 03:38:52 PM
No professional photographer took photos of the Imperial Family without prior permission from the Court. The approved photographers all had special functions as well. Levitsky took portraits. Boissonas & Eggler took portraits, Karl Hahn (Gan in Russian) took the outdoor photographs at special events and on board the Standart...Each original photo would be on card stock from the specific photographer and always had the Imperial Court Censor stamp of approval on the back. Always.

I would love to see that Imperial Court Censor stamp. Is it in another thread or could someone send me a pix of it.
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: katmaxoz on March 31, 2013, 05:11:04 PM
Is this imperial stamp you were talking about on the back of this photo of Ella?

http://pinterest.com/pin/234398355577497798/



Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: Miek on April 03, 2013, 05:09:32 AM
Thanks Katmaxoz for posting. I do not know if this is it. I have never seen one.
I enlarged the blue circle stamp and there is written "Avanzo. St. Petersburg Gr. Morskaya no. 9". Does that sound like an Imperial stamp?
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: Carolath Habsburg on April 18, 2013, 07:03:09 AM
The art of this seller to convert a Beinicke´s image in a 300 bucks "RARE" image (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-Antique-Russian-Photo-Tsar-Nicholas-II-Anastasia-Romanov-Framed-Russia-/221215784065?ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1120)

 
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: Forum Admin on April 18, 2013, 09:29:15 AM
Thanks Katmaxoz for posting. I do not know if this is it. I have never seen one.
I enlarged the blue circle stamp and there is written "Avanzo. St. Petersburg Gr. Morskaya no. 9". Does that sound like an Imperial stamp?

No, this is not the Imperial Court Censor stamp.  It is from a dealer who later sold the photo.  It will be a long sentence in Russian, referring to the Imperial Court itself. I know we have several in the archives and I don't have time right now to go through the boxes, but will keep my eye out for one.
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: Forum Admin on April 18, 2013, 10:14:08 AM
Here, I found one.  Scroll down to the photo of the back side of this picture of Michael Alexandrovich, and you will see the Imperial Court Censor stamp:
http://www.romanovrussia.com/MAphotograph.html (http://www.romanovrussia.com/MAphotograph.html)
Title: Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
Post by: Miek on April 18, 2013, 10:28:42 AM
Thank you!! I thought it would be something very fancy like the back of those old photographs, so happy to know now!