Heads Up- Reproduction Allach On Gottlieb Auctions
I'm writing to inform you that the 1937 Das Schwarze Korps plaque that Craig Gottlieb has in his running auction is most likely a reproduction. Although we don't see many reproductions with Allach Porcelain, this particular item has certain aspects to it that certainly triggers a red flag.
As Craig has mentioned in his description of the Plaque, I did see it at the recent SOS and I thought it did look good, although it did have some very tiny chips to a few of the lower letters. I mentioned that it was in an incorrect box for this type Plaque but it did fit the box nicely. However, I didn't remove the plaque from the box nor did I take any measurements of the Plaque. By eye, the Plaque appeared to be correct and was smaller than the 1939 Das Schwarze Korps Plaque, which it should be. It wasn't until I noticed the measurements and photos in the description for the Plaque that three discrepancy's became a concern.
The first being the Plaque measurements.The measurements should be approximately 9.25" x 6.25", not the 8" x 5.5" that is stated in the auction. Although one can not claim reproduction by measurements alone, especially pertaining to Allach, but these differences in measurements are truly way above the norm indicating that this Plaque was probably made using an original Plaque as a mold. The shrinkage indicates a typical 10-15% reduction in size when clay is baked, making it the size of 8" x 5.5".
The second is the thickness of the Plaque. The Plaque also appears to be too thin, enabling one to see impressions of the front detailing slightly coming through on the back side, which does not occur on this type Plaque.
The third discrepancy is that the hole on the back side of the Plaque appears to be shallow as well as having solid sides, not the hollow appearance that is always seen. By this I mean, the Plaque is made from a two piece mold with clay being poured into the mold while the mold is closed. The mold makes this hole because for lack of a better word a small funnel is located there enabling the clay to be poured in. As the clay starts to harden, some of the liquid clay is poured out from this hole (funnel) leaving an area around the inner hole hollow. This hollow area can measure anywhere between approximately 4 to 8 cm in depth from all around the hole, making this Plaque area appear to be two pieces or hollow when in actuality it is only one solid Plaque with a small area of clay poured away from this hole. Most people think this hole was made purposely for hanging the Plaque, which it was not
I spoke to Craig about these concerns because my name is associated with the Plaque and I want people to know of it's potential problems and that my initial observation of stating the Plaque looks good was incorrect upon my further observation of the photos and dimensions. Craig and I were suppose to speak over the weekend but Craig hasn't responded to my two emails, asking him if a decision to remove the plaque would be made. I'm sure Craig is busy dealing with the Auction but with only 5 + days remaining in this Auction, I have taken it upon myself to mention my follow up observations to everyone concerning on bidding for this plaque. It may be mute point because Craig may be in the process of removing the Plaque but the reasons for removal should be known.
Dennis R. Porell
04-11-2011 07:43 AM
I agree on the porcelain shrinkage rate of 15 %. I have had a porcelain clay body shrink as much as 20% for casting clay in a 2 piece plaster mold. You can increase the feldspar and flint in the clay body to cause less shrinkage but it takes away from the whiteness of the pure kaolin.
Every thing you never wanted to know about ceramic science guys.
Oh I forgot to add that includes the thickness as well as the width and length.
Even though this is a blast from the past and I know you didn't bring this to the top,
I have to say WOW!!!
So I take it you have delved into ceramics just a bit??
Very impressive info Steve