Join Date: May 2006
You have put your comments very nicely Jim.
It is certainly not a good idea to discourage beginning collectors by providing harsh personal opinions about something they have paid good money for. Moreover, in a Forum such as this one, those opinions can be read by everybody in the entire world, and this can cause flow-on effects for the person making the enquiry.
In addition to what you have said, I'd like to make a further comment.
When I was a child I was taught that if I could not say something nice, I'd best not say anything at all. Well, childhood is a very long way behind me now, and although I do agree in general with this line of thought, over the years I have modified it a little.
In try very hard not to make unkind remarks in public, if I feel that somebody needs to know that what they have spent their hard earned money on is not quite what they think it might be, I hesitate before making a public comment and then make a private comment in as gentle a fashion as possible to the person who has enquired.
Another thing is this. Many people are interested purely in the physical object that they collect, they have very little interest in the culture or society from which this object came. They certainly have no interest at all in absorbing the present day attitudes and values of the people who form the population of a society or region that produced the objects of interest to a collector who tends to regard something of less than a certain age as a "fake", or "reproduction".
Sometimes the thing that the collector living in his Western society might write off as "fake" or "reproduction" is regarded by the person of the society from which it came as a valid expression of their material culture.
It is perhaps a very good idea to acquaint ourselves with the attitudes and values of the society, or societies that produce the things we collect, before taking it upon ourselves to pass judgement on those things and express an opinion. Alternatively, any opinion given could be qualified to make it very clear that such opinion is based upon certain pre-determined standards or circumstances.