View Full Version : Info: Brigitte Eberl Estella & Carol Williams resins fakes / forgeries

11-17-2015, 04:31 AM
I thought I better share this, I don't want to take credit of the text or whatever, that is why I link it, it's in german anyway .


Obviously a collector in Wuerzburg has made copies of Estella and sold them for higher prices than Brigitte Eberl did. Brigitte Eberl want people to get in contact with her if they bought a resin from a collector in Wuerzburg since 2014 . She says that the quality of the fakes is not as good as hers, she also sais that people who bought the fakes can keep them but should not sell them as originals.
She thinks that the collector may have faked others and she did start a lawsuit against her.

I know this is not a first hand account

Ulla Harneit

11-17-2015, 05:54 AM
link may not work anyway


Leider muss ich mich heute in einer ernsten und unschönen Angelegenheit an Euch wenden.

Es ist erwiesen, dass eine Sammlerin aus Würzburg mehrere Fälschungen meiner beliebten Cobra-Stute „Estella“ hergestellt und diese an verschiedene Sammlerinnen als echte Eberl-Modelle für jeweils weit über dem von mir für ein Traditional Resin aufgerufenen Preis verkauft hat. Ein solches Vorgehen ist kein Kavaliersdelikt, im Gegenteil. Die Nachbildung eines Kunstwerkes, die in der betrügerischen Absicht geschieht, den Eindruck zu erwecken, es handele sich um das Werk eines bestimmten Künstlers, von dem es in Wahrheit aber nicht stammt, und um einen Gewinn damit zu erzielen, ist eine Kunstfälschung und erfüllt den Straftatbestand des Betruges!
Da die aufgespürten Fälschungen überdies von minderer Gussqualität sind, was sich schädigend auf meinen Ruf auswirkt, weil die Käuferinnen die Modelle in der Annahme erworben haben, dass sie aus meinem Atelier und meiner Gusswerkstatt stammen, habe ich rechtliche Schritte gegen diese Sammlerin eingeleitet.
Auf eine erste Abmahnung durch meinen Rechtsanwalt hat sie eingeräumt, eine Form von „Estella“ gebaut, mehrere Plagiate hergestellt und diese veräußert zu haben.
Eine umfassende Aufklärung des Falles ist zu meinem Schutz und zum Schutze aller Sammler/innen, die in gutem Glauben meinten, auf dem „Second-Hand-Markt“ eines meiner Modelle erstanden zu haben, dringend geboten. Daher bitte ich all’ diejenigen von Euch, die seit dem Frühjahr 2014 bis heute ein Eberl-Modell von der besagten Sammlerin erstanden haben, sich bei mir zu melden. Es gilt aufzuklären, ob es sich um Plagiate handelt und auch, ob noch weitere meiner Figuren von der Fälschungsserie betroffen sind. Es geht bei meinem Aufruf an Euch also nicht ausschließlich um Estella oder die anderen meiner Cobra-Stuten, sondern um sämtliche meiner Modelle, die von der besagten Bezugsquelle erstanden wurden.
Ihr braucht nicht zu befürchten, dass ich nachweislich als Plagiat enttarnte Modelle aus dem Verkehr ziehen werde, wozu ich rechtlich in der Lage wäre. Darauf verzichte ich hiermit öffentlich. Allerdings bleibt festzustellen, dass Plagiate nicht mehr als echte Eberl-Modelle, sondern nur noch deutlich als Nachbildungen deklariert weiterveräußert werden dürfen.

Vielen Dank für Eure Unterstützung!

Brigitte Eberl

Ulla Harneit

11-17-2015, 06:02 AM
Here is the informations in English from Brigitte herself / ATTENTION - I post this for Brigitte herself, because she is no member. Please read - CAUTION important info to all collectors

Unfortunately, today I have to get to you in a serious and unsightly matter.

It has been proven that a German model horse collector of the city of Würzburg/Bavaria has manufactured several forgeries of my popular Cobra-mare ‘Estella’. She has sold them to various collectors as real Eberl models for each well above the price I am asking for my Traditional scale resins. Such an approach is not at all a trivial offense! The replica of a work of art that is done with the fraudulent intention to create the impression that it was the work of a particular artist, from which it does not originate in truth, and in order to achieve a profit with it, is an art forgery and meets the criminal offense of fraud!
Since the revealed forgeries are also of inferior quality casting, which has a detrimental impact on my reputation, because the buyers have purchased the models in the assumption that they originate from my studio and my casting workshop, I have taken legal action against the forger.
After a first warning by my lawyer she has admitted to having built a casting form of ‘Estella’, having produced several forgeries and having sold them.
A comprehensive investigation of the case is an urgent need for my protection and for the protection of all collectors, who thought in good faith to have purchased one of my models on the second-hand market. Therefore I ask all those of you who have bought an Eberl resin from this person since the spring of 2014 to today to contact me. It has to be clarified whether it is plagiarism and also if – in addition to ‘Estella’ – there are more of my resins affected by this counterfeiting series. Therefore my appeal to you does not only refer to ‘Estella’ or the other of my Cobra mares, but refers to all of my resins that have been acquired by the said source during that time.
You do not need to worry that I'm going to pull models from the market that are proven forgeries, which would be my right. I hereby publicly renounce to do so. However, it remains to be noted that plagiarism may not be resold as genuine Eberl models, but only clearly declared as replicas.

Thank you for your support!

Brigitte Eberl
Email: brigitte.eberl@atelier-boetzel-eberl.de

@Admin/Mary: Should I pose this also in another area?

Tanja Nagel

11-17-2015, 08:28 AM
Wow. I am glad Brigitte is going after this person aggressively.

11-17-2015, 11:18 PM
Me too. I feel for her.

11-17-2015, 11:29 PM
@Admin/Mary: Should I pose this also in another area?

Tanja Nagel

This is good, Tanja. Since you and Lora (Ulla) are posting Brigitte's information directly, with her permission, this is very important information to share with the international hobby.

What is this person's name, so that people will know not to purchase from her?

Also, how can the fakes be identified?

How can the true Eberl resins be confirmed?

I know people would like to protect themselves - and Brigitte - on the secondary market. :yes These fakes are out there and I assume they could turn up for sale anywhere.

11-18-2015, 12:41 AM
I would love to know what molds were faked. I bought some finished pieces and want to check them out. If I recall, most came from trusted hobbyists who bought from Brigitte but there are a couple I would still like to check.

11-18-2015, 09:17 AM
At least on the English post there was no name identified. Thought it was strange at first, but I suspect if lawsuit procedure is anything remotely similar to the US that Eberl may have been advised by her lawyer NOT to publicly name names while they're actively pursuing this case.

11-18-2015, 11:01 AM
To truly be on the lookout for fakes, it needs to be fairly specifically spelled out what we are looking for. Otherwise an Estella is an Estella, you know? :)

I am sure there are particulars about the resin quality and perhaps some of the mold details, it would never be able to be an exact copy. But many hobbyists have no idea what these qualities would be - they've never handled unpainted Eberls from Germany, or if they did, won't remember what they were like. Some exact information needs to be published where it is accessible to the hobby.

And also, if a fake is spotted, how to contact Brigitte, so she can follow up.

Unfortunately, over time, at least some of the fake Estellas will start to make their way into the hobby, on purpose or by chance. There is no controlling everything.

As time goes on this could become a potentially a major issue for people who own an Estella and wants to sell. Anyone could challenge a sales piece as being "fake" (even a show piece). Those who know the piece may know better, but those who don't - what are they to believe, how can they decide? There will be people who buy a fake, believing it is real, and are later challenged. How do people with authentic models prove they are authentic, when anyone could challenge that?

For those who don't keep many paper records on the source of their models, I suggest assemble the provenance on your Estellas now while it is more readily to hand. You may be glad someday - or someone may, if you keep yours forever. :)

11-18-2015, 11:21 AM
Hmm, I wonder if this is the same German hobbyist who tried to sell me an Estella a couple years back and then disappeared with my model and my money. :somad The name of the region where she lives certainly sounds familiar.

I'm relatively certain that the Estella in my signature is the real deal. I bought her along with the other three Cobra mares from a reputable collector here in the US, who from the sound of it had had them for a while. They have the same weight and feel to them as the other unpainted, solid-cast Eberl I have on hand. I'd still be interested in how to tell the fakes from the real deal, though.

11-18-2015, 03:32 PM
I plan to keep hold of my Estella, and I got her straight from Brigitte. No worries about my mares being fakes. It is awful that others have to consider this.

11-18-2015, 07:39 PM
I manage Brigitte's Yahoo Group and her Facebook page. I was given the same message to post there as was here. This was the only information that was given by Brigitte and it was posted exactly as written.

11-18-2015, 10:16 PM
Here is the link to the MHSP warning (http://www.modelhorsesalespages.com/view.asp?id=1197324&p=g), just for the record.

11-19-2015, 02:06 AM
Glad I got mine direct. But I do wonder. Any preciosas being mentioned? I bought mine second hand in the states but do not know where she came from. Feels like my other bought direct so I should be safe, right?

11-19-2015, 10:05 PM
It seems that the person who made copies of Eberl pieces may have also made copies of Carol Williams' "Valor" resin, and not done a very good job of it.

We've received information from a customer in Germany who purchased a "customized Valor", that's just a travesty. The Valor is an obvious re-cast/knockoff, and *if* it was sold as "customized", as in "ready for paint", it was a blatant fraud (we're still getting details...). While some customizing was done, it looks like a failed project that someone gave up on. The photos made me sad, like with sympathetic disappointment, especially since they said that they paid a lot more than what an original Valor would have cost.

The customer also claims to know that the person they call "the Eberl-Replica-Maker" has sold "Valorcusts" to collectors in Germany. That person has purchased one, and only one, Valor from us, so collectors in Germany and across everywhere should beware - especially if it doesn't look like it was very well made in the first place.

We've advised the customer to demand an immediate refund, and we've banned both the person who sold the customer the travesty and the person they say is the re-caster.

I'd name the names, but only first-person accounts can be posted and "a customer told me" isn't good enough - and I don't want to off-handedly ruin someone's reputation.

We realize that overseas shipping is expensive, but everyone thinking that should remember that the international postal rates are set by the *destination* country.

Mary mentioned "what to look for". Well, regarding Valors (and possibly Victrix, Matriarch, and Veronka), original pieces look professionally made and ready to wander off while you're not looking, while the counterfeits look like the caster barely had any idea what they were doing (based on the large photos we've received). Seams in weird places, obvious mis-registration of mold sections (and strangely set up mold sections), and just generally poorly executed.

I haven't seen any of the counterfeit Eberl pieces, but I expect that they're no better.

Ya know, "good" counterfeiters try to make their work indistinguishable from the real thing, and generally have some talent and skill. The "bad" counterfeiters may have a bare smidgen of talent and have once heard of "skills", but don't care nearly as much about their work passing as the real thing. Then there's the guy I read about years ago who tried to pass fake money that had his own picture on the front...


11-19-2015, 11:10 PM
I am sorry to hear this appears to be more wide spread.

11-20-2015, 06:12 PM
So, I've had the chance to communicate with several people in the know on this, and perhaps we can help the hobby while protecting the options for those taking action in Germany.

TTB has a particular way of doing things to help be sure reports are as accurate as they can be, and information isn't unfair to someone because it morphed in the telling, even if it was unintentional. BUT sometimes TTB will go a step further when there are unusual circumstances and it is in the best interests of the hobby.

Please PM me if you need the name associated with selling the forgeries of Brigitte Eberl's Estella and Carol Williams' Valor, Victrix and Veronka (as long ago as 2012) to help protect yourself from inadvertently buying a fake.

Be aware that some of these forgeries have been purchased by unsuspecting and innocent people. Innocent buyers could unknowingly offer them for sale.

As Gary described above, the castings he is aware of were of obviously poor quality. It's possible the forger has improved their skills since then, but the older ones at least are clearly not quality castings.
Ask the seller who they purchased their Estella, Valor, Victrix or Veronka from, and if they purchased in 2012 or later. I don't know if forgeries were sold by this person before 2012, but the Williams forgeries at least were definitely sold as early as 2012.

One of your best protections is a REFERENCE SEARCH before buying. The individual associated with selling both the Eberl and Williams forgeries has not less than 4 reports since 2011 (although not for forgeries), 3 on MHHR and 1 on Blab TTB. The reporting poster labeled these as "red lights" in at least two reports.

Why I am not posting the name in this thread at this time:
The legal proceedings are taking place in another country and Blab will do its best to be respectful of that process. I am advised there are very strict laws about what can be shared publicly by Brigitte, and it could be very unfortunate for her if things didn't go as they should, re the German system. I would not like to make it more difficult for Brigitte and possibly Carol as well.

When the time is right to post the name and make it searchable, this thread will have the title updated with the name, and be stickied in the Be Aware forum.

Thanks to Ulla (Lora), Tanja and Gary for taking the time to post and alert us.

One of the best things we all can do for this hobby is make it not so easy to defraud fellow hobbyists. The less successful such chicanery is, the less of this there will be. :yes

11-20-2015, 06:39 PM
And in case it is useful to anyone, here is a link to Brigitte's post in the Modellpferdeeversand forum, the thread is in German, of course (http://modellpferdeforum.de/index.php/Thread/17757-Informationen-zu-Frau-Eberls-Arbeiten/?postID=1553584#post1553584). But I know some on Blab understand German. :)

11-22-2015, 09:29 AM
Brigitte asked me to post an update. If you have additional info, please contact her at: brigitte.eberl@atelier-boetzel-eberl.de

"As since my first call in the Forum regarding the fake ‘Estella’-Resins now there is a new state of the investigations, I would like to turn to you again with more information today.

First of all I would like to thank all those of you who contacted me and so have contributed to the further investigation of the case! Nevertheless, there is however still a need for additional investigation, because the art forgery series has drawn wider circles than was initially conceivable for me!

Meanwhile, it is proven that the forger of the city of Würzburg/Germany has not only built a mold of ‘Estella’ and has manufactured and sold several ‘Estella’-plagiarism, but that she did the same with my other two Cobra-mares ‘Esplendida’ and ‘Esmeralda’ and with my ‘German Riding Pony Stallion’! She admitted that in writing to my lawyer and thereby also confessed that she had an accomplice who helped her. In her statement, the forger also identifies six specific persons to whom she has sold plagiarism.

As I had assigned the rights to my resin ‘German Riding Pony’ completely to Andrea Hebbe-Spill from the German toy distribution ‘AHS Puppen und Spielwaren’ and therefore Andrea is entitled to the exclusive marketing rights to this figure, she is now also affected by this plagiarism case and has also already contacted my lawyer.

After further investigation has now come to light that the forger has also produced plagiarism of the ‘Valor’ resin by artist Carol Williams and has sold faked copies of ‘Valor’, too. And so far, unfortunately, it can not be ruled out that other resins – also from my studio – may be affected, or that there probably have been more accomplices or helpers.

I have to admit that the whole matter very heavily burdened me, as it is now proven not only to be a ‘slip-up’ of an individual, but to be the organized collaboration of at least two or even more people! And I really want to prevent that my confidence in so many of you, who like my art and are my loyal and valued customers, gets a crack by the behavior of a few people acting in this awful story of fraud and dishonesty.

For this reason, more and thorough investigation of this art forgery series is necessary, and therefore, I hereby once again repeat my request:
Please get in touch with me in case you have purchased an ‘Eberl-resin’ by the said source in the past two years, regardless of whether one of the Cobra-mares, the Riding Pony Stallion or any other of my models!

Thank you for your continued support!

Brigitte Eberl"

Miss Kitty
11-22-2015, 10:30 AM
Does anyone know if Valor / Victrix casts were always solid cast or hollow cast? Collectors in Germany are wondering since there seem to be both versions floating around, both hollow and solid cast.

11-22-2015, 07:18 PM
I think my Valor is solid, and if I remember Victrix is hollow. Both from Riorondo. I know he's heavy but I think she's light. (can't get to them right now)

I also want to add I have a counterfeit Rose Caldero I got years ago. I have a real one to and the difference is obvious. Fake is a heavy mess real is light and super nice.

11-23-2015, 08:57 PM
The only normally solid Valor or Victrix were the hair prep versions.

Regular Valor and Victrix final (maned/tailed) versions are all hollow-cast. While solid-cast bodies are available by special order, I don't see anything in our records indicating that we've ever sold either of those in a solid-cast form. It may have happened and I just don't remember, but there was no note of it made and it would be a very rare instance.

If a collector in Germany purchased a solid-cast Valor or Victrix (final versions) from anyone other than us, or that lacks provenance, it may well be a counterfeit. Especially if it looks like the mold and/or casting was poorly done, as we have actual professionals do our molding and casting.

There *are* several Cadence bodies that were sold solid-cast, and Matriarch has been commonly available as a solid-cast, but those were all done professionally and should not show the rampant flaws that I saw in the photos of the Valor in question.

In addition, we've received an email from Dani/Daniela Becker in which she admits having an unnamed friend make a mold of Valor, cast one, and convey it to Nina Degan.

Every day there seems to be more coming to light...


11-24-2015, 11:55 PM
I received a message from a German collector, and found something else that I had forgotten - some of the VictrixHP that Carol painted were finished with sculpted manes and tails. Those can be found in our galleries here:


I sincerely hope that the collector can easily find her Victrix there.

Some of the HP versions that went out may well have gotten sculpted manes and/or tails from various artists, so being a solid, especially a custom one, doesn't necessarily mean that it's a fake.

11-30-2015, 10:49 PM
And, me again. I got permission to use the collector's photos, and verified that the piece was sold as an unfinished custom.

Here's a couple of choice examples to use when examining a Valor and determining whether it is a fake. While the forgers included the engraved signature in the mold and casting(s), they did plenty of other things that show it to be a fake.

Poor quality casting and finishing is obvious throughout, with seam flash left on the model. Note the messed up forelock, incomplete ear, and I'm not sure whether the other ear is due to the casting or the customizer. Such things never leave our casters, and when they "fix" they do a good job of it.


The groin section shows mold flash through the "boy parts", strange mold sectioning on the belly, major carving in strange places (customizer or caster?), and someone seemed to be confused about testicle format. Giveaway: If there is a seam running across the genitalia, it's a fake.


That should cover the early question of what to look for to identify a fake. This also applies to Victrix and the rest.


11-30-2015, 11:01 PM
Thank you, Gary, these are excellent tips and examples. :yes