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Tim in Antiques
Tim in Antiques, Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 1155
Experience:  Certified Fine Art Appraiser, MA, President of ANA, CFAA
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Is it possible to let me know your opinion regarding items

Customer Question

Is it possible to let me know your opinion regarding items offered by Kaminski auction (they are reputable but selling many of similar items from one estate different auctions...).
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Rarewares replied 1 year ago.


I have bought from them and attended their live auctions many times in the past as I only live 45 minutes away. I have dealt with them since about 2005.

They have always had silver Judaica and Russian items that they claim are from

this estate or that, but notice they rarely state an age of these items. It is the same with the garden statuary.

I do not want to say anything bad about them, of course. While they have some very good

items at auction, the jewelry and antiques, I would steer clear of any Judaica or Russian

items if you are looking for a true antique or valuable piece that would appreciate in value over time.

It is important for you to click the stars after you have read this answer.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

If I knew you have such a connection with Kaminski auction, I would have chosen a different expert who does not feel obligated to protect the auction house reputation and would just give me the answer regarding the particular item I asked and not just how great the auction house is. That was not my question and I believe, since they offering more than 50 pieces of similar and some identical items from one estate but the different month and/or dates of the auction, the reputable/good/honest auction house should disclose that these are forged/fake items. Since making money is more important to them than not misleading buyers, they can not be a good/honest company, etc.




Expert:  Rarewares replied 1 year ago.

The written word can be taken in the wrong way sometimes.

I am not protecting them , I am not allowed to say certain things as per my job here.

I was hoping that you would read between those lines to know my opinion as to these items.

I do hope you understand what I mean and maybe read my words again.

Do click the stars after you have read this answer, thanks.

Expert:  Tim in Antiques replied 1 year ago.

Natalya, my name is ***** ***** moderator told me you requested another opinion. I will try to help if that is ok with all concerned.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello Timothy,

Yes, I would really appreciate all your help and/or suggestions.

Thank you,


Expert:  Rarewares replied 1 year ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** will opt-out and allow you to take over from here.

Expert:  Tim in Antiques replied 1 year ago.

Natalya, is this an item you purchased? You seem to have doubts about it. The first concern I have is the description incense burner, rather it is a spice container (besamim).

The hall marks on the back of the ball has a Markers mark, K II, the assay masters mark A A, a date 1894, 84 which is the silver content of .875/1000, and a city mark.

So far I have not found the marker ( K II)

The AA is for Anatoly Apollonovich Artsybashev, he worked in Moscow 1888 - 1898,

The city mark is not clearly visible in the image.

By that information we are assuming that it is a late 19th century Czarist spice container.

Historically during the Czarist era most of the Jewish population live in the Pale of Settlement. From 1791 to 1835, and until 1917, there were differing reconfigurations of the boundaries of the Pale, very few were permitted to live in

Saint Petersburg and Moscow. This was in effect until WW I.

The possibility of a spice container made in Moscow in 1894 is slim. A Besamin is a religious item used for Havdalah,

a Jewish religious ceremony or formal prayer marking the end of the Sabbath. Having one with a Puti (cherub) is rather odd.

So to put all the information together. I agree with rarewares when he stated '

I would steer clear of any Judaica or Russian items.

There's a wide production of modern silver artifacts with fake Tsarist Russia hallmarks. They come from Poland, Ukraine, Romany, Hungary and other East European countries.
There are more or less three groups of fakes:
- Total fakes ( absolutely new): all the cloisonné enamel kovshi, beakers, cigarette cases, spoons etc. Niello (not real niello but chemical oxydised), Fabergé and fantasy, Judaica of all kinds
- Authentic Russian silver but "upgraded" with the best names like Ovtschinnikov, Gratschev, Klingert, Fabergé etc.
- Authentic European silver (mostly Austrian and French for niello, German etc.) with erased old hallmarks and repunched with "new" Russian marks, mostly with the better names like Ovtschinnikov etc.