Favourite Appraisal Finds What am I ? #1

Do you know what I am?

Part of my appraisal processes often includes doing additional research from my home office. I’d like to share three of these interesting pieces over the next few blog posts, starting with the one shown in the picture above.

Have you figured out what it is?

It’s a cigar cutter. The brass bird is referred to as a Marabou stork. The beak, which is shown extended upwards, is the cutter. The cigar is placed in the ‘eye’ and the beak lowered to cut the tip of the cigar. The discarded bit then falls into the copper basin below.

Internet sources attribute this item to Ignatius Tascher of Germany who was, apparently, a sculptor, medalist, graphic designer and illustrator.

I doubt it. Why?

  • It was easy to find a picture of the bird online which decries the declaration from several sites that this object is ‘rare.’ (Sellers’ favorite, and most overused, word on internet sales sites).
  • If anyone stopped to really look at the work of this artist they would see that it far surpasses the quality and type of work shown in this cigar cutter – not to mention subject matter is all wrong.
  • The most telling clue is that the name is wrong. The artist to whom they are attempting to attribute this work is actually Ignatius Taschner, not Tascher. This happens when sellers get lazy. One person mistakenly attributed the cigar cutter to this German sculptor-artist and got the name wrong right from the beginning. Other sellers, without doing their research, simply repeated what he or she said, complete with misspelt last name. Repetition does not make it true.

Prices for this bird were $200 – $350. It’s worth doing a bit more research.

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