Author Topic: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.  (Read 24204 times)

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Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
« 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!


Offline Carolath Habsburg

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Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
« Reply #1 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.

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Offline Eddie_uk

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Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
« Reply #2 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?
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Offline Eddie_uk

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Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
« Reply #3 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!
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
« Reply #4 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.
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Offline Carolath Habsburg

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Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
« Reply #5 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.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2011, 05:44:13 PM by Carolath Habsburg »

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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
« Reply #6 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.
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Offline Eddie_uk

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Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
« Reply #7 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...
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Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
« Reply #8 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.


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Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
« Reply #9 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.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 09:35:15 AM by Forum Admin »

Offline Carolath Habsburg

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Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2011, 10:37:37 AM »

Courtesy of Grand Duchess Ally

"...Пусть он землю бережет родную, А любовь Катюша сбережет....". Grand Duchess Ekaterina Fyodorovna to Grand Duke Georgiy Alexandrovich. 1914

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Offline GrandDuchessIsabelle

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Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2011, 10:43:11 AM »
This is such an awful thing to do. Are these thieves ever caught?
'Olga is hitting Maria, and Maria is shouting like an idiot. A dragoon and a big idiot.'
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Offline Svetabel

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Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
« Reply #12 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.

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Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
« Reply #13 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.


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Re: Spurious Ebay Photos of the Imperial Family. Beware.
« Reply #14 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.

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