Author Topic: How to see if your Whitefriars Onion vase is real or a fake/copy  (Read 2496 times)

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Offline WhatHo!

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What Ho! For several years I have been doing an ongoing study of Whitefriars fakes. I have a ‘Genuine’ lilac Onion vase so I can show you the difference between real and fake examples.

Firstly, I am not a collector of Onion (sometimes called Puffa Fish) vases. I now own 1 example and I also own a fake, purchased (along with a Hooped and various types of Bricks) deliberately to do studies on them and hopefully educated people so they don’t inadvertently buy one.

The 9758 Onion vase first appeared in the 1971 supplement and last appeared in the 1974 catalogue. The standard factory colours are Sage, Lilac, Aubergine, Pewter, Meadow Green, Tangerine and Kingfisher. They are catalogued at being 5 ¼” but this may vary a bit and they are often a little taller at 5 ½”.

The fake Onion and Hooped (the Bricklayer was before this) first appeared in the UK in April 2008. When I received my fakes they were all in the original boxes which they were supplied to the dealer in. I found a label which does give us the date of manufacture and some sort of product code and I have since found out that they were made in Portugal and these 2 are no longer in production as far as I know.

(http://i33.tinypic.com/rknd6v.jpg)
 
I think the Onion is the hardest to spot, certainly from a distance or off an eBay photo and it must be said that they have done a pretty good job replicating this vase.

1. Size
The proportions of the fake are pretty much exactly the same (see pic below) as the Whitefriars, the only slight difference is the Whitefriars is slightly more shouldered, it has more of a taper and less of a nozzle.

(http://i35.tinypic.com/308z0gz.jpg)

2. Texturing
The texturing of the fake is a bit more course than that of the Whitefriars example.

(http://i33.tinypic.com/33jn6vn.jpg)
(http://i33.tinypic.com/214v5lk.jpg)

3. Base
The base is one of the best give-aways. They have tried to replicate a ground pontil (concave depression in the base) but it simply isn’t right. A genuine Onion will have a moulded ripplely looking base with a ground and highly polished pontil. The fake is the other way round, it has a flat ground base with a moulded pontil.
Some of the fakes may have a ’V’ inscribed on the base, this is where somebody bought job lot and inscribed a ‘V’, calling it the Vase Heaven range.

(http://i33.tinypic.com/2gy0d9i.jpg)

(http://i35.tinypic.com/a3fuva.jpg)

A Hooped example.
(http://i34.tinypic.com/4hyv86.jpg)

4. The Top
One of the easiest ways of telling if it’s a fake Onion or not is to look at it from the top. The fakes have round opening and the Whitefriars will have an oval.

(http://i37.tinypic.com/29vzdwi.jpg)

5. Colour
The colours that I have seen them in are green, ruby and aubergine. The (meadow) green is close to the WF colour although slightly darker, (see pic) but the aubergine in too dark. The ruby is a non standard colour for Onion vases.

(http://i35.tinypic.com/k0t3ix.jpg)

I hope this information is helpful and if there are any errors or omissions please inform me so I can edit this thread, Wolfie
PS Sorry about using Tinypics, these images are permanently stored, feel free to change them if you wish.
pps Please keep any replies relevant to the fake onion only!
Something you like, mail me! :)


Offline WhatHo!

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Re: How to see if your Whitefriars Onion vase is real or a fake/copy
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2010, 09:37:29 PM »
What Ho! By the way if you want to view the similar study i did on the Whitefriars fake Hooped vase click the link below,

http://www.whitefriars.com/bb_orig/viewtopic.php?t=2275 
Something you like, mail me! :)


Offline Anne

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Re: How to see if your Whitefriars Onion vase is real or a fake/copy
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2010, 09:57:22 PM »
Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to do this, it's immensely useful to have such a helpful and detailed comparison of genuine and copied items to refer to. :thup:


Offline vidrioguapo

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Re: How to see if your Whitefriars Onion vase is real or a fake/copy
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2010, 10:07:59 PM »
And this is the link to the fake bricks - it also incorporates the link for the Hooped Vases, and shortly the new info from Wolfie on the Onion vases will be added, so it is all in one place

http://www.whitefriars.com/bricklayers.php



Offline gata444

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Re: How to see if your Whitefriars Onion vase is real or a fake/copy
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2010, 09:32:30 PM »
Thanks for the effort that has gone into your onion and hooped fakes pages.  It's really helpful and sent me off to inspect mine immediately.  However, I have an aubergine onion which I am sure is genuine, as it has ripples on the base around the clear pontil just like in your photo, BUT it has quite a circular opening when viewed from above, rather than oval.  The proportion of the shoulders looks fine, and the detail of the onion scales is not coarse.  Similarly, I have a green onion that has a quite polished base, with no ripples, yet the base looks worn and of its time and the top, which has an oval opening,  has a few fleabites on the rim, so I am convinced this is an original.  I bought both of these vases before 2008 and I mention these solely as examples of where perhaps there has been a little inherent variation between pieces. 

When are we going to see a piece on fake banjos?  Surely the Holy grail for WF fakers.  I've seen a banjo on eBay recently with a very spout-like neck.  Cheers!


Offline WhatHo!

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Re: How to see if your Whitefriars Onion vase is real or a fake/copy
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2010, 08:55:43 PM »
What Ho! No problem, I hope it was helpful. Thx for the points you have made, firstly aubergine is one colours that the fakes commonly come in and it is indeed it's possible that when removed from the mould that the top might have got distorted. I have viewed many (although I don't collect them) onions and I have never seen a genuine one with a circular opening. Please put a pic up of it so I can view it.
The other point about the flatten base is quite correct, i have seen an genuine onion with a large amount of wear on the base which looked just about flat (but a bit of wavyness remained) and also another onion where the base been skimmed, also certainly the result of a repair to remove a small chip. Maybe I should have mentioned this in my fake onion study but I didn't want to confuse the matter. Fakes don't come with polished pontils but it would be dead easy to put one in, if you see my point. I think i was just trying to point out what you are most likely to see in a fake.
As far as fake Banjos are concerned I have no information on them and I don't think they presently exist. I saw the piece on eBay that you are referring to but my opinion is that was a badly formed example. If anyone has any other information about these or any other potential WF fakes please contact me, Wolfie
Something you like, mail me! :)


 

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