Why buy a fake?

This is very odd.

Back in 2015 I wrote about an item which was advertised for sale at a respectable Stourbridge auction house. This was said to be a telegram sent in 1944 to 617 Squadron by Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris about the death on operations of Guy Gibson and his navigator Sqn Ldr James Warwick. Even without seeing the item, I listed five separate reasons why I considered that the telegram was a worthless modern fake and I’m glad to say that the auctioneers agreed and removed it from sale.

But now, a photograph of the same item has emerged for sale on eBay. Yours for the princely sum of £3.50. (Don’t all rush at once.)

It’s being sold by someone with the catchy vendor name of 4256970mnr, who seems to specialise in making photographs of other photographs, chiefly of Dams Raid artefacts. The most expensive item he has for sale is going for £9, so it’s not a highly lucrative business.

But what is most puzzling is Mr Mnr’s description of the Harris “telegram”:

“The original telegram is doubted to be genuine – but is of interest.” There’s no doubt about it. It’s a fake, pure and simple. I wouldn’t spend even £3.50 on it.


10 thoughts on “Why buy a fake?

  1. Lisa Ingham December 9, 2020 / 4:16 pm

    Always someone wanting to make a fast buck.
    Hope you recieved the email

    • charlesfoster December 9, 2020 / 5:45 pm

      Yes I got the email. Reply on way!

  2. Mohne all the time . December 9, 2020 / 4:40 pm

    I watch the items of this seller regularly.. He sometimes comes up with photo’s and other items that I have not even seen (which may I add are copies). I am sure he would not have copyright on a lot of the items he sells.

  3. Martin Davies December 9, 2020 / 4:56 pm

    What were the five reasons that you gave for that telegram being fake ? Would be interesting to know, as it’s clearly had a fair amount of work to make it seem genuine to the novice.

  4. Frank & Valerie Ellis December 9, 2020 / 7:13 pm

    Excellent – keep it up …..

  5. Michael Kell December 9, 2020 / 8:52 pm

    Unfortunately nothing these days is sacred or safe when it comes to scamming people for money.

    • charlesfoster December 9, 2020 / 9:07 pm

      Michael — I think I should make it clear that I am not accusing this particular vendor of scamming anyone. However, the item he has copied was clearly a fake and was made by someone with intent to deceive. CF

  6. Birchall December 9, 2020 / 11:55 pm

    The aiming sight for the dam towers is described by bomb aimed j Jensen as a plywood triangle made at base the raf historical branch report operation chastise covers the plywood triangle sight

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