Rolex to Pessoa . . .
and not forgetting perfume . . . watches . . . silk scarves . . . travel goods.
Recently I fitted a Pessoa saddle for a valued client, someone with whom I had dealt with many times in the past. The horse was young and had a lot of making up to do, I selected a Don Neco from the range because, having traditional wool flocked panels, it would allow considerable adaptation as the horse develops and muscles up.
Just a short time later I received a telephone call from a friend of the client. "How dare you" he said, or words to that effect, "supply my friend with a no good (his phrase was rather stronger than this!) Argentinian saddle?"
I pointed out that all the Pessoa saddles had been made, to very stringent specifications, in Argentina during the last two years although the leather is sourced in Europe. The client's friend then assured me that he could obtain an English made Pessoa for less money. I visited the client concerned and, on point of principle, I returned his money in full. Then I asked where he had obtained the so-called English Pessoa saddle but he didn't wish to reveal the name of the saddle maker concerned.
The forgery, for so it was, had no identification nails or plates but was stamped on the outer panel identifying it as a 'Pessoa'. A forgery! A practice not liked by either the trading standards people or the police!
Let this be a warning! Fakes have entered the saddlery industry just as they have the perfumery, designer wear and travel goods sectors. If you are offered branded or named goods well below the normal asking price, be suspicious. The chances are they are the real thing, but stolen! Or a deliberate attempt to 'pass off'. As well as the risk that they may be confiscated, the re-sale value is likely to be well-nigh nil!
Adapted from articles recently published in The Essesx Rider magazine