Careful…Keep your guard up!

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Beware of this new attribution as just found by many of my readers (sorry for the delay of response to all of you, but I am currently far from Paris) at a Vintage Furniture Fair in Mexico City:

 

Copyright © 2010 – 2017 Karin Goyer. All Rights Reserved.

@donshoemaker.com

 

W A R N I N G !!!

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Beware of these Don S. Shoemaker attributions:

 

Copyright © 2010 – 2017 Karin Goyer. All Rights Reserved.

@donshoemaker.com

The palo fierro dominoes sets from the Seri Natives

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Some time ago I published a post on Don S. Shoemaker´s dominoes sets. These game sets were made in 2 different versions: the “tronco” (organic design box) and the boxed sliding lid models; the former also had a first series with a matching wood lid and the ones produced by George with a see-thru fiberglass lid.

This time I have to bring your attention to these wonderful Mexican handcraft dominoes sets made in ironwood (“palo fierro” for the locals) by the Seri Natives in the northern state of Sonora, Mexico. The “palo fierro” handcrafts include boxes, sculptures, jewelry, etc., they are of a great artistic value and a source of income for this isolated community. So, I ask the help of all my readers to buy these look-alike dominoes sets and the other handicrafts directly from them and help also to stop the swindlers that are selling these dominoes sets as Don S. Shoemaker originals.

Take a close look at the differences between an authentic Don S. Shoemaker “tronco” dominoes box vs. the beautiful dominoes set interpretation from the Seri natives:

The Don S. Shoemaker “tronco” dominoes set:

  • Don never used ironwood (see box below)
  • The tile dots are made in silver, hollowed and sometimes engraved lines (see 2nd picture below)
  • The box always carries the decal studio label

 

 

The Seri Natives dominoes sets handcraft:

  • They use ironwood for all their handicrafts
  • The tile dots are painted in white (see picture below)
  • You may also find a “deluxe model” with plain silver dots
  • You can also engrave the name of your brother, friend, etc. for a special gift (Mercado Libre “EBAY MEXICO” search palo fierro – see ad below)
  • It is important to know that I do not endorse any of the sites advertising these handcrafts. But, the only way that I thought we could stop this new wave of alleged “Shoemaker dominoes sets” (that I have seen in galleries, auction houses and weekend flea markets going for $ 300 USD and more) is to buy directly from the producers of these sets knowing that we are not going to get a Shoemaker for $ 12 bucks but we are going to help the Seri natives in Sonora and they are going to be grateful.

 

 

Don is going to be proud of you guys because as you know, he was always involved in Charity programs.

Copyright © 2010 – 2017 Karin Goyer. All Rights Reserved.

@donshoemaker.com


Amazing similarity – QUIZ #2

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This time we are going to play the opposite game of the 7 differences. We are going to play the amazing similarities.

The rules are very simple:

  • Pay attention to the desk pictures and find as many mistakes made by the forger on the stripes which are identical on the pictures
  • Tip #1 : one mistake is when the wood stripe of the drawer is of a different color and wood than the frame wood and color
  • Another tip: the streak in wood is like a fingerprint, look for stripes of the same vein

Do not think these pictures come from the same place…..

  • One “After Don Shoemaker” desk picture comes from an auction announced for this December 14th
  • One picture comes from an attributed Don S. Shoemaker desk in a gallery
  • Two pictures come from a fake brand new 2009 production “Don Shoemaker desk” offered for sale in EBAY Mexico (MercadoLibre) some time ago. (read my post)

To give you a hint: 2 of the mistakes are on the drawers

So please let me know: how many mistakes did you find?

And your verdict based on the amazing similarities is:

  • guilty as charged – it is exactly the same desk
  • or it is an amazing coincidence that 3 desks have the same marks

By the way, this desk was also portrayed in an article published in “Interior Design” magazine

Copyright © 2010 – 2017 Karin Goyer. All rights Reserved

@donshoemaker.com

Most underwhelming attribution to Don S. Shoemaker – part 8

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I recently discovered this odd piece of furniture attributed to Don S. Shoemaker at an auction:

  • Described as a “Parsons” side table by Don S. Shoemaker….This forged “model” has been around for some time, I have already seen several versions at weekend flea markets in Mexico City. The original Don S. Shoemaker “Parsons” line has nothing in common with this unbecoming thing! Pitifully, the forger sacrificed various original Don S. Shoemaker service trays for the parquetry on the table top. Pay attention to the irregular cube sequence patched together and compare to an original service tray as Don used the “cube design” mainly on his boxes and trays. Also check the forged label that has been taped to the bottom of the table.

Copyright © 2010 – 2017 Karin Goyer. All Rights Reserved

@donshoemaker.com

AAD Appearances are deceptive…

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Are you prepared to buy Don S. Shoemaker originals? Let´s make a quiz…

Appearances are deceptive. That´s why you must train your eye to find the differences between the originals, the copies and  forgeries. It is like playing the cartoon of the 7 differences, but this time with the added value that you can lose a lot of money in a bad perception. This is the only weapon that we collectors have to fight forgers that are flooding the market taking advantage of our good faith.

Do not forget the MANTRA: if the piece seems odd,  if the leather is new, the wood looks new and smells like new, and carries no label or stamp or is taped, then it is a forgery or a brand new copy !

  • The Sling side table is part of the original “Sling Casuals Line” designed by Don S. Shoemaker in the 1960´s. I have included a picture of an original Sling side table from my personal collection and a picture of a brand new copy, as seen at an auction. The Sling side table was available either with a wooden top or a leather top.

Now, are you ready to identify which one is the original Sling side table and which one is the copy?

  • Another example for you to analyze. Which one is the original Don S. Shoemaker diamond desk and which one is the copy?

  • The Elephant Lounge chair: which one is the original Don S. Shoemaker and which one is the forgery?

  • This game table is the last one in our quiz. Have you decided which one is the original Don S. Shoemaker table and which one is the fake? One of them was found in a Mexican auction house and the other one in a Chicago based auction house.

Copyright © 2010-2017 Karin Goyer. All Rights Reserved

@donshoemaker.com

Most underwhelming attribution to Don S. Shoemaker – part 7

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I received pictures from one of my readers on this Don S. Shoemaker attributed round table in an auction:

  • I had to take the time to pay a visit to this auction house to verify (my apologies to my reader) that this primitive and ugly round table was listed as a Don S. Shoemaker original. I was flabbergasted! I am trying really hard to find just one possible argument on how this rustic round table with such an uncouth finish could have been attributed to Don S. Shoemaker and accepted as such. I was absolutely horrified when I took a look at the table´s  underside. The table top consists on many cueramo planks which underneath are joined by screwed pine planks, this is the evidence that the forger or the owner and the specialist or curator of the auction house (if any), do not know something about Don S. Shoemaker designs. We all know that he excelled in developing systems for link and joint and that he tried to avoid no matter what the use of screws and nails in his work.

I just read the catalog that I bought while I was leaving the auction house and I found these pearls of humor that I want to share with you:

  • I will quote the introduction for the “Don Shoemaker pieces” in the catalog for this auction: “He did not use nuts, screws or nails, each one of his pieces were produced on the base of joints, links, etc.” So they did not read what they wrote? Or maybe they do not know that those shiny things on the underside of the table top are called screws…
  • Description of the Lot: Round dining table, ca. 1970. Are they talking about the year in which the forger was born?
  • Would you believe them that the table is made in cocobolo wood?

Copyright © 2010-2017 Karin Goyer. All Rights Reserved

@donshoemaker.com

Most underwhelming attribution to Don S. Shoemaker – part 6

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Is this a joke or what? I received this picture on a deckchair listed for auction which you can tell immediately it is not part of the Don S. Shoemaker catalog.

  • An attributed Don S. Shoemaker “deckchair”. This particular chair is made in a tropical wood called “katalox”, sometimes also known as “Mexican Ebony”, a wood very estimated in the Yucatan Peninsula by the producers of outdoor furniture and flooring of that area. Very unfamiliar to a Don S. Shoemaker piece of furniture. Sometimes I do ask myself, how is it possible that these kind of furniture pieces make it to a serious auction house and they accept to list them as originals.
  • Is it the magical thought of believe that it could be a “Don S. Shoemaker”?
  • Are they too lazy to research?
  • They have a blind trust on the seller?
  • They do not have specialists?
  • Or they do not care?
  • I wonder what happens when you try to sell a brand new Chinese 2009 “WASSILY CHAIR” for an authentic Marcel Breuer WASSILY CLUB CHAIR “B3” Standard Möbel or Thonet Möbel 1928?

But I still have not found the answer….

Copyright © 2010-2017 Karin Goyer. All Rights Reserved

@donshoemaker.com

Anatomy of a fake Don S. Shoemaker

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To be able to better understand the differences between an original Don S. Shoemaker piece of furniture and a fake, I have taken some close up pictures on the most relevant discrepancies. Please visit each picture for a detailed explanation on the discrepancy. Beware of the loose elephant herd recently produced!

Remember the MANTRA: if the piece seems odd,  if the leather is new, the wood looks new and smells like new, and carries no label or stamp or is taped, then it is a forgery or a brand new copy !

Close up original swinging mechanism - Elephant Lounge Chair

Fake elephant chair with 3-step "mechanism"

Original Elephant Lounge Chair - curved back-rail

Fake elephant chair - straight back-rail

Copyright © 2010-2017 Karin Goyer. All Rights Reserved

@donshoemaker.com

Most underwhelming attribution Don S. Shoemaker – part 5

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Today I will address another Don S. Shoemaker attribution seen for auction and also in some galleries:

  • This product of a lesser mind living room set imitates the legendary “Elephant Lounge Set”, created by Don S. Shoemaker in a limited edition of 5 back in the 1960´s. The original set (as I had already described in the Special Design Lines category) comprises 2 lounge chairs and an outstanding coffee table. However, this brand  new “want to be” elephant model, forgery, includes a settee, a love-seat, a lounge chair and a coffee table.

The differences to the original Don S. Shoemaker “Elephant Lounge Set” are very obvious:

  • No elephant eyes are present (as the typical Don S. Shoemaker swinging mechanism is absent)
  • The “box seat style” with leather cushion similar to the Sling Swinger Chair was adapted, instead of the nailed leather seat with the typical decoration for each nail, the so called “leather flowers “
  • A funny 3 position mechanism was adapted, the coordination of 2 or 3 of your guests is required to go one step back or forth
  • Blue prints and a manual have to be delivered to your guests for this dangerous maneuvering
  • No curved back-rail (signature of the house) present. After 10 minutes with your back in contact with the straight rail you want to cry!
  • The table´s legs stand on 90°
  • And most important: the love-seat and the settee were never part of Don S. Shoemaker´s designs

Of course I will withhold information about some other details in order to prevent production of better imitations!

Copyright © 2010 – 2017 Karin Goyer. All Rights Reserved

@donshoemaker.com

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