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Ardor 02-24-2016 07:16 PM

Foundries overseas ripping off sculptors?
I heard about this a while back. Foundries in, I think it was China? Were supposedly making counter fit castings of sculptures and selling them off as artist's originals.

Is there any truth to this? And if so how much of a problem is it really?

Andrew Werby 02-25-2016 03:14 PM

Re: Foundries overseas ripping off sculptors?
This certainly goes on, but the artists they favor tend to be long-dead ones like Remington and Moreau. If modern bronze sculpture sold better, I'm sure they'd offer copies of that as well, but as it is, they stick to the tried and (not so) true. Here's a typical site:

Anyone purchasing a bronze from one of these places expecting to get "artist's originals" is not exactly a sophisticated art connoisseur...

Chris_Johns 02-27-2016 05:25 PM

Re: Foundries overseas ripping off sculptors?
There is a certain amount of inbuilt protection in that for art of any substantial value the provenance is a big part of its worth.

From a pragmatic perspective any serious collector is likely to realise when an cheap knock off is being sold direct from a foundry and, ultimately if they are selling cheap versions in the far east market to an audience that you would never reach anyway you aren't really losing anything and there is very little you can do about it in any case.

The best thing you can do is to have a strict policy of documenting and siging you work which is under your control and well publicised.

Ardor 02-28-2016 08:22 PM

Re: Foundries overseas ripping off sculptors?
What you say makes sense. At the moment I'm really not anyone of note so I doubt they'd even bother with me. The reason I ask is that I'm considering putting up a website for my stuff. I once heard a sculptor at an art show say something about he'd never post his stuff to the web because of knock off foundries. Then at some point I stumbled along this site.

It looks like the site is kind of old. When I whois the domain name it was registered to someone in Germany if that makes any difference. Not that I'm sure it does.

Andrew Werby 02-29-2016 02:40 PM

Re: Foundries overseas ripping off sculptors?
If you're really worried about someone in China seeing a picture of one of your sculptures, hiring an artist to make a similar piece, casting a bunch of them in bronze and selling them, then keep your work secret.

I doubt that you'd be able to win a copyright suit against someone who did that, since it would essentially be an entirely different sculpture than yours, even if some things about it were similar. None of the sculptures called out on that site are identical copies of the ones it calls originals, and proving that they were derived from the originals would be an uphill battle - anybody can make a sculpture of a ram on a crag or whatever.

If, on the other hand, they bought one of your pieces and pulled a mold from it, that would be a case you could win, although whether the suit would be worth bringing would be another matter.

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