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.

Honors flysis Income beezis Onches nobis Inob keesis



  • IosephusIosephus Posts: 786 ✭✭✭

    An unfortunate experience, but it looks to be a very nice cast of a significant Renaissance medal!

  • NapNap Posts: 1,462 ✭✭✭✭

    Sorry about that, I agree it looks like a nice medal.

    For some of the material I collect, because it becomes fairly esoteric, I tend to not put too much faith in the AH (or even TPG) attribution.

  • mkman123mkman123 Posts: 6,630 ✭✭✭✭

    @harasha why don't you return it? Is it worth more as a lead piece or rarer?

    Successful Buying and Selling transactions with:

    Many members on this forum that now it cannot fit in my signature. Please ask for entire list.
  • harashaharasha Posts: 2,437 ✭✭✭✭

    @mkmsn123 After considering the overall picture, I felt that there would be little difference, if any, in value. And I was looking for an exemplar. My main concern is that lead is more susceptible to damage, thus making storge a bit more complex.

    Honors flysis Income beezis Onches nobis Inob keesis

  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 9,096 ✭✭✭✭✭

    So...you think the piece cast in lead is contemporary and made at the same time by the same maker of the bronze medal?

  • harashaharasha Posts: 2,437 ✭✭✭✭

    This is a later cast; not unexpected, though that also should have been made clear in the auctioneer's description. Again, I do not trust US auction houses as they seem to leave out critical points in world coin descriptions, or misdescribe them totally. I used to have a good relationship with Ponterio, but they were taken over by another entity. Also, I must say I never had a problem with Harlen Berk, either.

    Honors flysis Income beezis Onches nobis Inob keesis

Sign In or Register to comment.