How to tell if photograph are genuine - based on the paper

Discussions on Axis documents, postcards, posters and other paper items as well as feldpost numbers.
CHRISCHA
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Post by CHRISCHA » 01 Jan 2004 18:15

Things I've noticed to identify a fake photograph.

Famous photos of scenes and soldiers (especially W-SS) being sold as original. I own a fair amount of books containg photos, so some are familiar.

Non-period paper used, which have the more modern white bordering, and give a different sheen.

Brand new looking photos, ie. no yellowing, etc.

Poor quality photographs, especially with portrait photos. A studio photo should be of good quality or would not be developed or developed and disposed of. Battlefield scenes are a different case.

Beware though. Some people are using period paper to print on, even to the extent of writing on the reverse, and artificialy ageing.
I have seen a fake album, or a genuine albumn, sexed up with rarer fake photos.

Just my observations, there are certainly more ways to identify fakes.

S&K KAHN
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Post by S&K KAHN » 02 Jan 2004 06:38

Be aware,not all original photo papers yellow.The higher gloss papers retain their whiteness quite well.it is the satin and matt finishes that yellow noticeably.
This is a short list of period name papers,that may be of use when determining photo authenticity.

Gevaert Ridax.also seen just as ridax.Belgian produced.

Agfa Lupex.may be also seen just as agfa.But agfa is also post war marking.Agfa lupex is the prewar and wartime marking.German produced.

Agfa Brovira.may also be seen just as brovira.a lot of photos exist from the 50,s on agfa brovira paper from left over warstocks.Typical scenario,where the soldier takes snaps during war,and photos dont end up being deveoped till years later.Agfa brovira is still manufactured but is named agfa brovira speed.german produced.

Leonar.german produced.

Mimosa.german produced.

Velox.I am yet ascertain origin.But they are a definate prewar manufacturer.

selo.british produced and exported.so dont think its odd if you get period photos of german soldiers on this paper.

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Christian Ankerstjerne
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Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 02 Jan 2004 08:37

Writing on the back is no guarentee - I have some fakes which has 'Agfa' written on the back, which fooled the seller who sold them to me.

Fortunately, he is an honest seller, so he refunded the photos in full.

Christian

S&K KAHN
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Post by S&K KAHN » 02 Jan 2004 09:11

As i said," agfa" on its own can be postwar paper.
The purpose of the list is to show that if ,you see these names at least you can be sure that the paper is genuine.
it in no way indicates that the picture was period developed.In fact a great majority of original photos were developed post war.The process in which photos were developed were identical upto the mid 50s.Paper included.as long as stocks were available.
So even though a photo can be on original paper,not be a copy,and have all those characteristics we look for in original photos,it still could of been developed 10 years after the war.Simply because alot of soldiers werent financially able to afford to get photos developed straightaway after the war.or during for that matter.

As for the ebay photos that started this thread,i recognized one straight away.The supposed "original photo of a uboat captain",is from the book "nazi regalia" by e.w.w fowler.PG 120.it is also a colour photo not Black and white like the one on auction.
seems like the seller doesen care about copyright laws,as well as fraud.
Last edited by S&K KAHN on 02 Jan 2004 09:35, edited 1 time in total.

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Ransome
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Post by Ransome » 02 Jan 2004 18:06

And what about useing a "lamp of Wood" (or black light) to check the age of the paper?

regards

Marco

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Christian Ankerstjerne
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Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 02 Jan 2004 18:18

Ransome wrote:And what about useing a "lamp of Wood" (or black light) to check the age of the paper?

regards

Marco


That is another way. UV light (it's not black, it's ultra violet, which will reflect on bleach, which was put in paper after 1950-something) can help in the judgement.

Christian

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Mak Los Mien Schnitzel
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Post by Mak Los Mien Schnitzel » 02 Jan 2004 21:37

What about if you are purchasing from an online auction or other website? Is there any way of checking the authenticity other than by knowing that a photo has already been in a book?

I ask this as a fair chunk of the photos shown on this thread seem to be from ebay.

CHRISCHA
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Post by CHRISCHA » 02 Jan 2004 23:13

Some of the photos I see on ebay look fake, (borders look new, subject is questionable, etc.), but in general, I can think of no way to check!

You're probably more aware than many re. purchasing phtos from ebay.

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Mak Los Mien Schnitzel
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Post by Mak Los Mien Schnitzel » 03 Jan 2004 11:36

Ebay is not my only source of photos but when I do use them I look for a common theme, like one bloke turning up again and again, I lean towards personal albums of ordinary soldiers so the material is not so likely to be copied, ie pictures that are not likely to be published in books for their, at times, mediocre or common subject matter.

Pictures like this can still sell for at least $2 each. I often though find real gems in these albums 2 or 3 photos which can be resold from $20-30 each even. 8O

The other good tip is look on the back of the photos for the developer's mark, they should not all be the same, nor the film from the same photo house, if you buy an album, and the guy is, say campaigning for years at a time, he will have gone to different parts of the Reich to process his film, therefore having different shapes of prints, variations in gloss, and photo edges. You could easily ask the seller to take pictures of the rear to see these variations. If the seller gives a questionable excuse like he borrowed the camera (when it is plain that he sells a lot) or refuses to send more pictures, then I will stay well away.

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asturwaffen
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Post by asturwaffen » 16 Jan 2004 12:50

Somebody knows a paper used in press-photo that it is called Kemmerer??


Regards

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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 03 Feb 2004 18:38

Could someone please let me know if this marking indicates a wartime photo? Is there a difference between Agfa and Agfa- Brovira when it comes to double underlining and wartime/postwar?

Best regards/ Daniel
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Christian Ankerstjerne
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Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 03 Feb 2004 18:48

I haven't seen any photos with just 'Agfa' - always a 'surname'.

It would be difficult to know from the above photo, though

Christian

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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 03 Feb 2004 18:55

That's strange. I have photos with the following markings:

Agfa (double underline)
Agfa-Lupex (double underline)
Agfa-Brovira
Agfa-Brovira (double underline)

I can get scans if needed.

Best regards/ Daniel

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Christian Ankerstjerne
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Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 03 Feb 2004 21:59

It can of course be that I just haven't gotten any yet, but I'd recommend that you double-check the photos with just 'Agfa' and double underline. I have only seen this on fakes.

You can PM me, if you'd like...

Christian

S&K KAHN
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Post by S&K KAHN » 03 Feb 2004 22:55

Daniel,
I can put your mind at ease on one point at least.
Double ,single or no underlining have nothing to do with a photo being a fake.
The underlinings(or lack of) were simply paper quality gradings marks used by agfa.Double was high quality(more associated with high gloss),single underline was medium grade(normally semi gloss or satin type finishes) and no underline was normally a flat finish.

It has nothing to do with post war.This system was developed by agfa before the war .

"Agfa" on its own can be wartime or post war.And again the underlinings are simply grading lines.

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