Why I am Wary of Auction Houses
So, I bid on this medal, described as cast bronze. Upon receipt, the plastic pocket says Lead ... Later Cast. I was not too concerned about the later cast, as that is not unusual, but needless to say, I was not expecting lead. I generally avoid lead numismatica. I called up the auction house to advise it of my displeasure. The first response was a patronizing query as to why I thought the medal was lead. Was I some sort of expert? Did I have it certified as such?
No, I responded. Your own pocket says, in bold letters, "Lead Cast." Also, the image in the catalogue did not suggest any particular medal, but once it was in hand, it clearly was lead. They promised to get back to me to advise whether they would authorize a return.
Meanwhile, I did consult with someone on the Board for whom I have the greatest respect. After reviewing his response, I decided to keep the medal. (The auction house in question did authorize a return, after reviewing the images I sent showing how the plastic pocket holding the medal described a medal not quite matching the catalogue description).
Unfortunately, this is just another chapter in my unsatisfactory encounters with auction houses.