Possible fake 1927 VP in Belgium auction this weekend

Anything to do with Port.
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gerwin.degraaf
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Possible fake 1927 VP in Belgium auction this weekend

Post by gerwin.degraaf » 12:08 Fri 20 Oct 2017

Hi all,
I don't know if anyone is taking part in the wine/port auction which is being held in Belgium this weekend, but if so, please take note of the following.

There is 1 lot of 2 1927 VP bottles (Royal Oporto). Because I had some questions about this lot, I asked around a bit (It wasn't quite clear from the pictures if it is VP or Colheita, see pic below, to me).
By the reply I got from the FTLOP, there were some questions about the authenticity. I then asked some more info at the auction house and with the Producer (Real Companhia Velha) of Royal Oporto.

I got a reply from mr Pedro Silva Reis (president) of Real Companhia Velha. He let me know that they "don't recognise the labels on the bottles as being original and have a strong feeling that the bottles are fake". And he also said they recently encountered fake old bottles in a Portugese auction.
Naturally I let the auctioneer know that I received this message.

Earlier on I also sent a message to the auction house with a couple of questions regarding the seller of the bottles. They let me know, that these bottles come from a new client (not a known seller), and that there is no additional information on the bottles (other than that they are sure that the bottles are old, I replied by asking how they have determined this).

Btw I buy at the auctions here regularely, ]I don't think in any way that they are to blame here.

Just wanted to let you all know.
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HattNoble
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Re: Possible fake 1927 VP in Belgium auction this weekend

Post by HattNoble » 17:48 Fri 20 Oct 2017

One that looks just the same is being sold here:

https://www.oldliquors.com/port-1927-royal-oporto-4497

Andy Velebil
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Re: Possible fake 1927 VP in Belgium auction this weekend

Post by Andy Velebil » 19:54 Fri 20 Oct 2017

I've taken some heat from a couple people about my outspoken views on just how many fakes there now are of Port. I'd be very careful buying any older Port at the moment. There is a lot more of it out there than people think, most of it showing up in Europe but now also in the States. Niepoort, Graham's, Royal Oporto are just several of the popular producers to fake I've seen. I can guarantee there is fake older Noval out there now as well, given how much they now command in price.

And I'm also now seeing Madeira being faked as well.

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Re: Possible fake 1927 VP in Belgium auction this weekend

Post by PhilW » 20:59 Fri 20 Oct 2017

It's certainly an odd one; my thoughts:
- It is quite unlike any other RO/RCV label I have seen (noting that I have only seen a dozen or so pre-1950 RO/RCV labels, to be fair)
- The capsule is surprisingly intricate for a fake which does not seem to match a previous bottling (as far as I am aware); in particular the apparent grapes relief on the gold coloured foil.
- The label is simple; the coat of arms does not seem to precisely match that from any other bottle; normally this might be a reason to suspect it, but RO/RCV have imagery such as the coat of arms which seems to have varied in some small way with almost every label. The closest I have seen is the Real Companhia dos Vinhos do Porto registered trademark, as per their website also, but again minor variations. Perhaps surprising if a forgery?
- The fonts and wording are not similar to any other RO/RCV bottling - but the coat of arms is correct, even if a minor variation.
- Unless there is a back label, then there is a surprising lack of information on bottling date and/or location.
- The glass looks reasonably old as far as I can tell from these photos; perhaps surprisingly old, unless re-used during war-time glass shortages.
- Minimal degredation to capsule/label, so either very well kept, or a relatively recent bottling (1927 colheita, but bottled when?).
- The two bottles you have linked images for both have almost identical fills and colour (though one very dusty, the other not). I notice also that a similar bottle was sold at Christie's in Amsterdam in 2003 (perhaps the same bottle).

So fake or not? I don't know. The capsule is the item that most suggests it might be genuine (RO 1927 colheita of unknown bottling date, perhaps shipped and bottled by a third party); but it could also easily be a fake, explaining the good condition of labelling with the older glass (though then I am surprised by the capsule). Interesting, but I would not pay much for it, for sure.

If you find out anything further, I would be interested to hear more.

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Axel P
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Re: Possible fake 1927 VP in Belgium auction this weekend

Post by Axel P » 00:52 Sat 21 Oct 2017

I have seen these bottles at auction, too, and did not bid, because:

- RCV is not known for their prestigious old Vintage Ports
- "Matured in wood" rather shows that they are old Colheitas
- The shape and design of the bottle shows that the bottle is quite old, making this a Colheita with little time in the cask

In the end, when looking at the bottle, I have also asked myself: where is the selo?

As RCV did not hugely bottle across (if at all under the name RCV), no selo does not make sense to me.

Axel
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Andy Velebil
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Re: Possible fake 1927 VP in Belgium auction this weekend

Post by Andy Velebil » 10:54 Sat 21 Oct 2017

Did anyone else also notice all the words look like there were cut and scanned onto this label from something else?

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HattNoble
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Re: Possible fake 1927 VP in Belgium auction this weekend

Post by HattNoble » 12:55 Sat 21 Oct 2017

Absolutely! I couldn't tell however if this is a digital picture artifact sometimes seen after image file compression.....

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DRT
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Re: Possible fake 1927 VP in Belgium auction this weekend

Post by DRT » 16:02 Sat 21 Oct 2017

I think the fact that it clearly says "1927 Tawny" on the capsule tells us that this is not VP, so no mystery there.

I agree with Phil that the intricate nature of the capsule is very unusual in a fake.

The label does look suspect, but there are plenty of bottles around with facsimile labels made and applied by wine merchants so that is also no guarantee that this is a fake.

The absence of a selo is curious given that these use have been bottled after its introduction in the early 1930s.

I'm not convinced these are fakes.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

PhilW
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Re: RE: Re: Possible fake 1927 VP in Belgium auction this weekend

Post by PhilW » 20:16 Sat 21 Oct 2017

HattNoble wrote:Absolutely! I couldn't tell however if this is a digital picture artifact sometimes seen after image file compression.....
I know what you mean, but don't think so - it matches the outline colours at the edge of the label too well, and lacks the blocking for compression artifact.

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Re: RE: Re: Possible fake 1927 VP in Belgium auction this weekend

Post by Andy Velebil » 03:18 Sun 22 Oct 2017

PhilW wrote:
20:16 Sat 21 Oct 2017
HattNoble wrote:Absolutely! I couldn't tell however if this is a digital picture artifact sometimes seen after image file compression.....
I know what you mean, but don't think so - it matches the outline colours at the edge of the label too well, and lacks the blocking for compression artifact.
It looks like someone put together the label from other labels. The white seal on the main label appears to be a totally seperate stick on label. All the wording has a weird border around it. Except for the bottom wording in gold with blue band background, which is totally different. If one had professional printed up labels back then (there was no home printing going on then) why are there so many oddities with the label?

Would love to put that label under a magnifying glass and get a really good look at it.

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