Thank you Leonid, I am not disagreeing with you. The quality of the
work is important, but when establishing the identity of the work,
and the value, the maker’s mark is essential.
A Faberge without the Faberge mark is only described as “after the
school (or style) of Faberge”. The price would be a fraction of a
stamped Faberge even if the quality were the same. I’ve seen this
over and over on Antiques Roadshow.
(Read the Appraisel Transcript on the side.) To mark was lost. Thus
the same quality work is less than half the price.
The maker’s mark in the marketplace may even be more important than
A stamped Calder jewelry with provenance will have far greater value
than a look alike. This article from Christie’s is a great example.
The “Price Realized” for this necklace was $602,500 - far above the
estimate of $200,000 to $300,000. The maker’s mark and clear
provenance can be essential components in establishing value.
With the exception of this rarified example, in the contemporary
art/craft marketplace metalwork is seriously undervalued compared to
other medium such as glass, ceramics and wood turning. The metals
community needs to understand that the value of our work can extend
far beyond quality, materials, or tour de force craftsmanship. The
identity of the maker can be of equal importance.
AND while I am addressing this topic, the identity of the maker may
be important on a personal level as well. Stamping your work with
your maker’s mark, may be important to your children, grandchildren
and future generations. Without the maker’s mark, stories are just
This is one of the reasons why the Professional Development Seminar
will be addressing these issues in “Collections, Collectors, and
Harriete Estel Berman