Using UV light to detect fake fabrics

09fritz2547

Member
I recently acquired some very nice mitres, that is at first sight. When examining the fabrics under UV light, I was confronted with some frightning results. Here are some pictures from the interior of a M1824 mitre made under UV light. It appears that the white fabrics contain some sort of synthetic whitener. In every manual I read on detecting fake antique fabrics, I find the same description of how these look under UV light: bright reflection in complete darkness and the appearance of light green or light purple instead of dull white. Alas for me, this is the case. Does any one of you have more experience with the use of UV light.

Kast004_zps6da24aa4.jpg


Kast005_zps948b6f9d.jpg


Kast006_zpsbda9e46e.jpg


I compared the result with a modern woolen cloth and that gave exactly the same result as the mitre. On the other hand, a very old civilian white woolen cap didn't reflect anything at all. Your expert comments are more than welcome.

It is interesting to know that the same sort of mitres were recently described in the latest Hermann Historica catalogue as "reworked items".

Johan
 

RON

Active member
Hi Johan,

I recently had the same issue with my Imperial German War Flag but the latter could be because it was washed at some point after WW1... which couldn't be the case with hard caps like yours I suppose.

More details here.
 

Arran

Active member
The best thing to do is compare the "glow" to a new white t-shirt. Lots of things will reflect the light or react a little oddly, but if the glow is as strong as that which you get from a t-shirt, then you have a problem...
 

09fritz2547

Member
Well, it was in fact the comparison with a new white towel that gave me the shivers. The reflection in the white stripes on the Beutel could be explained because they were cleaned/whitened in recent times, a product like Mr Clean contains also ingredients that can produce this effect, I did the test. BUT; this can never explain the reflection in the inside of the cap and that is exactly what the second image is, the front of the cap. The first image is the back side where the white meets the red and there we have the same phenomena. Yes, I have a problem here I think. And I don't have 1 mitre like this, I have 3 all from the same source.

Johan
 

09fritz2547

Member
Take a look at items 3870 and 3871 in chapter "Orders and International Historical Collectibles up to 1918", last auction at Hermann Historica, they are the same.....again from the same source. Here is what the experts of Hermann Historica sent me:

"Yes, the grenadier caps 3870 and 3871 are very rare and its not easy to find similar items. We regard the metal parts as mostly original. The textile parts and the staves for stiffening are not so convincing. Within the next few days we will show photos of the insides of these caps in our internet catalogue, so that you can form your own opinion."

They did publish the inside pictures. Mitres sold for very little.

Johan
 

Adler

New member
The ones in the catalog are completely bogus... To bad for you if yours are the same. If the seller has sold them to you as original, I would try to get a refund.

Adler
 

09fritz2547

Member
Oh yes they were sold as originals, with a price accordingly high. The seller maintains his position and states they are original. I plan on taking this case as an example and, if necessary, go to court or at least deposit a formal complaint in the hands of the police. This is a case of pure fraud.

Other members of this forum were equally deceived and I do not want them to loose the same amount of money I did.

The whole story started on this forum:

http://pickelhaubes.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5155&hilit=masonic+hats" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I got in contact with the person whose name and email is mentioned in the thread and got convinced about the mitres, so I bought some. Never had a doubt, until they popped up about everywhere: some on ebay, others at Hermann Historica and so on. So I started digging and came up with the results I mentioned before. More reputed persons than me came to the same conclusion about these mitres.

I have little hope to see some money back, but at least I can stop this person to deceive others. I am certainly not the first one, and won't be the last one.

So if ever you want to buy convincing helmets from minihelmets, oldhelmets, pitmiddlewood or whatever pseudonym he is using, be warned and think twice. I have to work hard for the money, so does everyone I believe, and getting robbed like this is a scandal. People like this should be stigmatized and be banned forever.

Johan
 

b.loree

Administrator
Staff member
My condolences Johan. This guy is obviously very devious and an impressive liar.
 

09fritz2547

Member
More than just a common liar I think, a whole scenario was set up to launch these spurious mitres in the collector's world. In my whole life I have been confronted just one time before with an equally ingenious plan to sell rare but fraudulent items and that was some 18 years ago. At that time I was presented some very rare French Empire sabres, à garde de bataille and so on. They turned out to be parts sabres, very professionally embellished to look, feel, smell like genuine items. The guy who launched these sabres had obviously made some enemies in lets say more criminal environments and ended up as a victim of a very strange car crash in the south of France. His car hit at very high speed a pillar from a bridge and he remained silent forever. Where a great deal of money is involved, be sure there are guys who try to make a profit of it in every way they can.

Johan
 

09fritz2547

Member
For sure. The story goes further, I explain. On this forum, I_wonder posted originally a thread asking about the origin of what he called masonic hats, pretending to be absolutely uninitiated whatsoever on mitres and German headgear in general. On the other hand, the same I_wonder pretends to be an absolute expert in GdC helmets on another forum where German Imperial headgear is also a topic among many others, mostly WW2 era. Just look up his posts there and you will now what I mean. Even more, I wonder is the proud owner of 8 (eight) GdC helmets he states. On ebay, he presented these as pitmiddlewood, this was also discussed here. But here on this forum I_wonder is totally ignorant and that is exactly the fixed game I mean. So oldhelmets = minihelmets = pitmiddlewood = I wonder. Wow, a man in many disguises. And I am sure this is just the top of the iceberg. And yes, he lives in the east part of Scotland, I won't make his wherabouts public since I want to stay polite at this stage.

Johan
 

Adler

New member
Is staying polite to a crook polite to other collectors? Scammers like this should be punished... and the first thing WE can do, is making it known to the rest of the collectors and the world.
When you know his name and the other data, you should also at least file a complaint imo...

Adler
 

09fritz2547

Member
You are right Adler. Anyone who wants can PM me and I will give more information. In the summer of 2011 he visited me, friends and family in Belgium for almost a week and we visited many places of interest, including Waterloo. During those visits, he convinced me that he was a man with good intentions, so we did business. Alas, this man is without scruples and he abused completely my confidence. Here he is at the Waterloo memorial:

FotoChrisRattray2_zps5da89de6.jpg


There is nothing private with his images, since he is also on Youtube (he is a sculptor and writes plays....) and apperas on several publications.

I seem to have heard there were many mitres sold in between (some 50?), multiply that by an average sale price of 4000€ and you will easily understand what kind of money is involved. This man has no place among serious collectors. Even reputed dealers are among his victims.

Johan
 

edwin

Active member
Thanks for warning us and this indeed quite a situation. I've seen several of this bloke's listings on ebay and as I far as I remember they are difficult to spot as fakes. Over the past years quite a few shady ebay sellers have been discussed on this forum but this chap seems to belong to the worst category.

Best regards,

Edwin
 

09fritz2547

Member
It's not just me, there are several victims, big names in collectors' world amongst them.

The case has taken a serious turn since I was able to reveal a case of supposed fraud on behalf of the Scottish government, same chap involved. I can not say more since the investigation is going on at this very moment. To be continued, that's for sure, and I hope I will meet him again, but in court this time.

Johan
 

newbe

New member
I am pursuing this guy in court.

Pittmiddlewood now Elgin marbles.

Any information on fraudulent transactions via this forum or pm would very gratefully received by my solicitors.

My solicitors and I have spent a year tracking him down.

Newbie
 
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