BUY ABSINTHE ANTIQUES
This is fascinating field, both as an enhancement of the drinking experience and in its own right. It’s also a minefield for the
unwary collector. 80% of what’s sold on eBay, or in flea markets in France, is faked or incorrectly described one way or the
other.

Many of the rarest absinthe spoons (and other items such as fountains and spoon-holders) have been reproduced as
modern replicas. There is nothing at all wrong with these of course, but unscrupulous dealers occasionally try to pass them
off as originals. Fortunately they are easy to recognize, and will only fool a beginner.

More dangerous are outright fakes, made with the intention to deceive. These can be hard to distinguish from originals,
especially just on the basis of photographs. Since individual absinthe spoons can be worth several thousand dollars, the
potential for profit on the faker’s side is obvious. There are several active makers of faked absinthe spoons in France, who
are continually refining their skills. It’s for this reason that I generally don’t post detailed guidelines for distinguishing faked
from genuine spoons on my website – I and a few French collectors did this in the past, and then found that the fakers were
improving their product and eliminating their mistakes in response to the information we had so helpfully provided them!

The danger with fakes of course is that once they get into circulation they are sold and resold, and may eventually be offered
in good faith by less knowledgeable sellers unaware that they are not the real thing.

The word “absinthe” is something of a magic bullet for a French antique dealer – it instantly increases the value of the
associated antique ten or twenty fold. So unsurprisingly, items made for use with other liqueurs of the period – quinquinas,
bitters, gentianes – are often hopefully described as absinthe antiques. Even more commonly, items made after 1920 for the
pastis market, are sold as absinthe period antiques. Almost all the so-called “absinthe fountains” on the market were in
reality made for use with pastis in the 1930’s.

So in summary, as in all fields of antique collecting, caveat emptor. Buy only from someone you trust, with the requisite
specialist expertise.

For an idea of what’s available in the field, visit our sister site,
The Virtual Absinthe Museum.

Absinthiana Collecting Guidelines

If you’re looking to put together a small but choice collection of antiques, mainly to enhance the experience of drinking a fine
absinthe together with a few friends, I’d suggest there are two options:

Basic Collection:        

Half a dozen good quality
reservoir glasses, with matching price-marked porcelain saucers.
A dozen interesting
absinthe spoons of varied designs.
A nice water carafe with bistro advertising.
In total, expect to pay around $3000 to put this type of collection together.

Expanded Collection:        All the above, plus:

A second exceptional carafe with absinthe publicity. $1000 - $2000+
A
pyrogene, or bistrot matchstriker, as found on every café table of the period.
About $400 - $1200+ for a nice one.
An early chromolithographic
advertising carton, or original poster perhaps to decorate your cellar wall.
$1000 to $5000++
Two or three important spoons. $1000 – $2000. The most famous designs are “
Les Feuilles d’Absinthe” and "Les Tours
Eiffel".
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, a fine
absinthe fountain. These are rare, spectacular looking, wonderful to use, and a
great conversation piece, but consequently very expensive. In fine working condition expect to pay $5000 upwards for a true
absinthe period fountain. Really exceptional examples can be much more.

Regarding value

This is a rapidly growing and I think uniquely fascinating collecting field: anything high quality you buy should not only retain
its value, but likely steadily increase in the years ahead.

Traditionally all the collectors in the field have been French or Swiss – with the growth of the internet there are now
increasingly serious collectors in the UK, Germany, Japan and the US. As English language reference sources become more
available, so this pool of collectors will continue to increase.

At the same time the re-legalisation of absinthe in France and Switzerland, the explosive growth of the absinthe market in
the UK, US and Germany particularly, and the prominent role accorded to absinthe in movies like Moulin Rouge have all
resulted in more demand for, and interest in, the antiques of the pre-ban period.

We sell only items in fine unrestored original condition, and we unconditionally guarantee the authenticity of everything we
sell. We do not sell post-1915 or pastis period items, unless they are clearly indicated as such.

I do not always list absinthe antiques for sale here on the website, but often prefer to email the details to interested
collectors directly. Please
contact me to put your name on my mailing list if you're a serious potential purchaser. If you're
looking for something specific, please let me know - the more details you're able to give me, the sooner I'm likely to be able
to help you.

If you're interested in
original pre-1915 bottles of vintage absinthe, click here.

Please visit the
Absinthes.com website if you're interested in reproduction posters and replica antiques.
Pour recevoir par email les dernières informations sur le monde des antiquités de l’
absinthe, et en particulier nos dernières trouvailles ainsi que nos offres exclusives
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Since 2002, we have been offering the best absinthe antiques from France and
Switzerland, the motherlands of the Green Fairy. Being located in France gives us the
opportunity to unearth the finest absinthe-related antiques and vintage absinthe bottles.
We're not just sellers, we're first and foremost absinthe antiques collectors, historians,
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