Over the last few years I've been following the progress of an eBay seller, 1079edmund, who purchased rubbed or plain items and embellished them with fake over-painting. See my March 2010 blog postings and the Fake over-painted items page for the full story. Despite a large spread in the Antiques Trade Gazette and many complaints to eBay, 1079edmund has continued to trade.
A few months ago he changed his eBay identity to toby-20. Take a look -- the same feedback history, the same private listing auctions, the same photographic backgrounds, the same appalling spelling, and the same location, Wales. It's the same eBay account with a different name. Until now, the items he's listed, under his new identity, appeared untampered with. So who was I to knock a man who'd turned over a new leaf?
But over the last few weeks, toby-20 has listed two plaques I've felt unsure about. The first, a typical 'Eastern scene' (see below), looked to have perfectly original enamelling to the central transfer. Unusually, the outer borders are pink rather than copper lustre. But that's possible for late items stamped 'Dixon Co'. However, the irregular-looking corners might suggest over-painted damage, and I don't recall ever seeing an outer border quite so purple. You'll have to make up your own mind about this one, because I'm not sure.
If you are sure that an eBay item looks wrong, click on 'Report item'. Then select 'Fraudulent listings' and 'You suspect a listing is fraudulent (you didn't bid)'. In the above case I gave the description as 'Fake over-painting, item listed as restoration free'.
Though my faith in eBay is rock bottom, if enough people complain they'll surely have to do something.