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28th August 2005Prince Imperial - relics
By Geoff
An acquaintance of mine has some (alleged) hair from the Prince Imperial's horse, as part of a collection of Victorian curiosities. Is this one of those cases where one could stuff a thousand mattresses with these cuttings or were a few samples given to select personages ?
29th August 2005Tim Watson
This is a bit of an excursion into the obvious, but here goes:
- It could, of course, be entirely genuine. However, for that to be accepted as its provenance for another purpose (selling it on perhaps), then firmer evidence of attribution would be required by all but the free spending and gullible.
- The more valued horse items are things like the hooves. Famous surviving examples are from horses like 'Ronald' rode by the Eael of Cardigan at Balaklava.
- Hair from the tail or (more likely) mane of the living horse is a bit down market in the first place, and substitute fakes could easily be misrepresented.
- Usually, buyers would expect to see some sort of 'proof', a letter or document, perhaps a photograph of the horse. Even some expense being put into mounting the item, with some sort of frame and inscription.
- But, the suspicion of a fake will always be there, unless provenance is well establish, or the buyer lucky.
That said, you could probably sell ten a day, with discreet gaps, at the next Victorian Military Society Fair.
29th August 2005Geoff
Thanks Tim - I don't know the provenance - but it has been around for a very long time which, of course, doesn't necessarily make it genuine. Would be interested to see how many examples are known and how they are displayed.
29th August 2005Tim Watson
The 'provenance' of an item is not what you have been told but what you can demonstrate to be the case to an interested third party.
If thec provenance does not already demonstrate authenticity then you'll need to find a better one.