Tu quoque Br… ummmm… Tu quoque Baldwin’s! Again I’ve found a fake Patraos pedigree, and moreover a multiple one and by “one of the largest and longest established numismatic dealers and auction houses in the world”: Baldwin’s.
As they say “Throughout our illustrious history, Baldwin’s has catalogued for auction houses all over the world, and our world-class team of specialists are renowned around the globe for their expertise and professionalism in the world of numismatics. Over one hundred and forty years ago the Baldwin family developed an infallible reputation for the encouragement and support they gave to collectors and students of numismatics. That legacy continues in our current generation, who strive to maintain Baldwin’s position as the very best the numismatic world has to offer.”
The coins on trial today aren’t on sale in the official Baldwin’s website, but in his vcoins depandance. And here we have a situation further away from expertise and professionalism. And again the victim is Patraos!
They are selling 6, I say 6!, coins from the “Paeonian Hoard. Excellent Provenance… Ex Sotheby’s 16/4/69. Lot #157-339-387-391-482-483 (Illustrated in ‘Catalogue of the Extremely Important Paeonian Hoard’)”.
What a pedigree for a Patraos lover…
First of all a lexical clarification. ILLUSTRATE in English means: to draw pictures for a book, magazine, etc. and so if, as they say about all these 6 coins, a coin is Illustrated in ‘Catalogue of the Extremely Important Paeonian Hoard’ I expect to find its picture inside it.
Let’s compare the 6 coins on sale with the description and the picture in the ‘Catalogue of the Extremely Important Paeonian Hoard’.
N°1. LOT 482.
The first coin on sale is actually illustrated in the catalogue and matches perfectly with lot 482, as stated. In the description of the lot in the catalogue, you can see an asterisk near the number, that means the coin is ILLUSTRATED in the plates of the catalogue itself.
N°2. LOT 483.
First of all, lot 483 isn’t ILLUSTRATED, but no problem it has the same dies of lot 482, as we can see in the description in the catalogue. Oooops, poor Patraos! The dies of the 2 coins aren’t the same and so this pedigree is a fake! I don’t know what this coin is, but certainly it isn’t lot 483.
N°3. LOT 339.
N° 4-5-6. LOTS 157-387-391.
These coins AREN’T ILLUSTRATED, but the dies are correct. Can we say that the pedigree is ok? No, we can’t, especially considering “mistakes” with other specimens…
It’s important to say that the dealer in the descriptions stresses very much the importance of this pedigree, as one of the most significant characteristics of these coins.
2 – may-2017
This morning, since I wrote to them, Badwin’s has contacted me. Even if one pedigree is ok, all the coins are removed from sale.
The numismatist apologised for the mistakes made. He said that the coins, even if not those stated, come from the Paoeonian hoard (the large part of what is not illustrated) and were bought from Sotheby’s and in future he will pay more attention to the term “illustrated” and paeonian coins.
It’s never easy to admit having make a mistake. Many other dealers I dealt with are incapable…
So, even if this is a case of lack of professionality, on the other hand it’s a case of honest and morally correct behaviour, that I think it’s much more important that the first. Professionality can be earned with time and experience (he’s a new employee), honesty not.