I've had a mailbox full of interesting and lively email. For those of you that noticed, I changed the name of the "scary" reproduction link. I been talking with the manufacturer of this line of jars. Rather than letting my recollection get this messed up, I will share parts of our written discussion ---
"I was browsing through your website, and I'd like to compliment you on a job well done. I really enjoy people taking the time to educate others about fakes, frauds, fantasys and reproductions.
Which brings me to the point of this email....
I am the owner of StoryBook Ceramics, a South Carolina pottery that specializes in a line of reproduction pottery, as well as many other items. You can see our website here
All of our items are hand made, with the best materials on the market, and are absolutely, permanently, indelibly marked under the glaze as "StoryBook" products. You can't remove the mark without literally destroying the jar. Hardly a "fake"... but a darn good reproduction.
We make these jars to combat the fake sellers on eBay, and I spend a LOT of my time educating people, like you, against the tactics of the fake sellers.
You can see my little addition to the body of knowledge here:
Now, given our VERY public stance against fakes, and our reputation of total honesty, you know what has surprised me to find on your website?
You have a link to "Scary repros"
If you want to see some scarey Repro Cookie Jars, click HERE
(BTW, the first jar on the list is not a repro, it is genuine)
This link goes to TIAS, and in your list of Scary repros are a lot of my products. These aren't fakes, they aren't being sold fraudulently, and they offer the only legitimate choice consumers have who want a pretty, realistic, facsimile of a jar they can't afford otherwise.
The description of our marking is on our main website and storefront pages, not necessarily in each ad, but I can assure you that anyone that buys one of our jars thinking to resell them as "vintage" is going to be in for a shock when they look at the underside if they don't read our website first and understand our business philosophy."
At this point, I asked if Story Book Ceramics wholesaled unmarked cookie jars ?
"We NEVER wholesale unmarked items. I've been asked dozens of times, I've simply refused, and always will. That is not what we are about. I do wholesale, but only to those willing to sell what we make for what it is, and believe it or not, the market for our genre of pottery is bigger than you would think. Selling a fake is a good way to make an ex-customer who hates you just as soon as they find out what you have done. I'm trying to build a business, and I need a loyal customer base. We have it too... if you look at our eBay ID "lloth" you will see we have over 1100 feedback, 100% positive... no "private" anythings. A look at my "About Me' page will show you an up close image of our mark, and tell you more about us.
I'm not going to tell you how to run your website, but I wish you'd rethink the "Scary" link. It gives the unfortunate impression that our company is part of the problem, when actually, we are trying to be part of the solution. :) Believe me, I know the enemies to truth and fair play we all are facing even better than you (I actually personally KNOW quite a few of the fake sellers (Fayes_Southern_Memories, Bric_a_Brac_Baron, Memories_Collectibles, bubsnboo, and the manufacturers of this junk (Roger Jensen, Larry Martin.... ) and I am surely not one of the club. Be assured, they hate us FAR more than they hate you.
I just wanted to talk to you personally, and let you know that we will gladly help in your efforts as best we can. We are both on the same team. We are friends of the collectors... they are the vast majority of our customers, so we'd better be. ;) "
The following is the last bit of information about legal action against the manufacturer of the fake jars and the private auction bunch -
"We managed seven successful lawsuits for non-payment of wages for local people he "hired", and got OSHA to shut down his "factory". But... in the end, he just slithered from one scam to the next and trying to stay ahead of him was impossible, and the local law enforcement was less than interested. "I mean, really,.... it's just a cookie jar!" (Or so I heard, over, and over, and over again)."
I mentioned some of the "exceptionally rare" gold trimmed pieces coming out Kentucky. Got this response -
" Just FYI, adding gold trim and decals (and even china paint) after the fact to old pottery isn't very hard, or even really risky if the piece is structurally sound. Lustre fires are fairly cool as kiln fires go."
What can I say. Sounds like I over reacted with the "scary" link. If you haven't done it yet - check out the link on Fakes.
If you haven't already seen it (it may have been removed by now), check this Ebay auction -
"I am really gun-shy about purchasing Shawnee or McCoy on ebay because of all the reproductions that are flooding ebay. When I’m doing a search and find one of those FAKE McCoy cookie jars, I contact the bidders and tell them that the item is a reproduction. Most of the time, I cannot do that because ebay allows these crooks to keep their bidders ID’s and their own feedback PRIVATE to keep people like me from contacting their bidders. I just don’t understand ebay condoning this kind of selling tactic and allowing it to continue. I have filed so many complaints about FAKE items that I feel like the ebay police. All they do is acknowledge my complaint and tell me that they cannot give me any other information because of privacy issues. I’m just baffled by this. The FAKE McCoy listing just got relisted today because after being posted for seven days, the cookie jar didn’t sell; however, I had several watchers and too many comments and questions to even think about. It’s been worth losing $62 to that jerk who ripped me off and I have had 3 ebayers write to me and say that I had saved them from making the same mistake. Who knows? I may keep relisting it until ebay forces me to pull it because I don’t have the cookie jar. I sent it back to the seller, Stewart Bryant, who says that it was broken when I sent it back to him—accused me of switching cookie jars"
It goes on and on ! The Buyer BEWARE auctions sound like a good idea. Just remember Ebay may give you a "stern warning" and a rap on the knuckles. More than the crooks get. One more little thing - if you get burnt, swallow your pride and leave NEGATIVE FEEDBACK. Even if others can't read it, this should at least give them a clue !
Why can't some aspiring programer put together an honest auction site ? Honest and Auction ----Oh well, forget I said anything !
Merry Christmas or whatever you celebrate - have nice one, Doug