Potter 'deceived antiques experts'

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The Independent Online
A POTTER spent years faking antiques that were bought by wealthy American collectors for hundreds of thousands of pounds, Knightsbridge Crown Court was told yesterday.

Guy Davis - who was said to have claimed that the pieces he was selling for up to pounds 37,000 each were genuine 18th-century products - probably treated the whole exercise as a 'challenge to the antique world', Nicholas Coleman, for the prosecution, said.

When police raided Mr Davis's home at Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire in June 1991, they found all the necessary equipment to produce the fakes.

Mr Coleman told the jury that Mr Davis, 35, who denies 25 charges of obtaining property by deception between March 1986 and May 1991, 'passed off' his creations as Whieldon pottery made between 1710 and 1780, deceiving a number of experts from the antique world.

Items included teapots, candelabra, various jugs and even a 'loving cup', which together fetched more than pounds 310,000.

Mr Coleman said the Crown believed they were all fakes made by Mr Davis, who obtained a diploma in studio pottery at Harrow College, north-west London, in 1983.

He went on: 'Or if he did not produce them, he knew they had been manufactured in the recent past and was passing them off as antique pottery. The Crown seeks to prove he knew they were fakes.'

Mr Coleman said Mr Davis made 'many hundreds of thousands of pounds' over a five-year period, although it was not possible to be precise. Items that featured in the case ended up in the hands of three wealthy US collectors, including the 'much respected' Henry Weldon of Park Avenue, New York.

The trial continues today.