Author Topic: purchasing imperial memorabilia  (Read 6523 times)

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Robert_Hall

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Re: purchasing imperial memorabilia
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2005, 05:58:06 PM »
Back to the original question-  first one must trust the dealer.  Reputation is all important when it comes to anything Russian.  Fakes are more common than authentic items. Also- what is one looking for ?  If it is Faberge, good luck and be prepared to make a lot of mistakes before striking gold. Some things are fairly easy to find, with a bit of patience and effort. Commemorative medallions, medals, post cards, etc.  can usually be reliable if only because the demand does not warrant rampant reproduction. Having said that, IMPERIAL FAMILY post cards are  massively reproduced. One needs to be a specialist in that field if one is prepared to spend the funds.
There are reputable dealers of Imperial Russian items, in New York, Chicago and especially London. The prices are HIGH for good quality and value. Be wary of buying from sellers in Russia itself, although there are  reputable ones there as well.  There is so much new stuff, still good quality, but being passed off as "antique".
Try to decide what it is you want to collect- books, ephemera,fabrics, memorabilia, pfotos,china/porcelaine/medals, coins, stamps, militaria etc.
Then decide how much you have to spend.
look around the local shops in your area, see if anyone  has Russian items.
Be willing to trade- say you want Imperial Palace plates, but find a malachite bowl, well, that bowl might come in useful for a trade. All depends on price, of course.
If you are into books, well, some are worth the cost, but remember that almost everything is being reprinted, especially via the internet.  So, you want a Baedecker- $900. A net copy costs nothing but paper & ink.
Just a few thoughts from a semi-retired antique dealers household !

Offline Azarias

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Re: purchasing imperial memorabilia
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2005, 12:18:29 PM »
If I were to stay strictly on the topic of Imperial personal items then it's likely that they have been stolen in one way or another. If the items were Imperial but belonging to the state (Old Russia) I suppose the current government (at whatever point in time) has the right to do with them as they wish. Church items belong in church! It matters little to me that the atheist government "protected" the icons by putting them in collections - they were never intended to be art for arts sake and are sacred items.

What can we make of grave robberies?

My point is that the subject of provenance and propriety becomes quite complicated when it comes to antiques. If a person has something to sell, there will always be a buyer. I would like to think that an individual's conscience would come into play. One thing I can definately say is that when collecting historical antiques we never buy and own items. We have purchased the rights to be it's temporary guardian. Items like this belong to history and the world, we are just there to care for them as long as they are in our protection. If they are of particular significance we should be willing to share them in exhibitions.