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Death penalty to Dr. Mircea Veleanu jade book author


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#1 AnitaMui

AnitaMui

    Prefect (Taishou 太守)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 16 posts
  • Location:Hong Kong
  • Interests:Ancient Chinese jade artifact
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese History

Posted 17 November 2009 - 12:11 PM

Dealer Gets "Death Penalty"

A dealer in New York has been handed a "death penalty"—no sales unless the objects are confirmed authentic by an independent lab, and all sales, including the names of the buyers, are reported to authorities.

The attorney general of New York filed a lawsuit against Dr. Mircea Veleanu, owner of Objets D'Art Uniques, seeking to permanently bar him from selling jade antiques unless they are verified as authentic. The suit also asked that all sales be reported and sought restitution for customers Veleanu allegedly defrauded, as well as penalties and costs to the state.

The attorney general's office obtained a temporary restraining order that required Veleanu to do business with those restrictions, and on November 14, the Honorable Thomas J. Dolan agreed and permanently imposed the restrictions.

In January 2007, Veleanu, a retired ob-gyn turned dealer, sold two jade malas (strings of prayer beads) to collector Janet Spiridinakos, who had found him through GoAntiques.com. One of the malas, priced at $1500, was emerald green, and Spiridinakos claims Veleanu described it as "fei tsui" jade. "This description is highly significant because fei tsui jadeite is also what is known as imperial jade, which is the highest quality jadeite in the world," her affidavit reads.

Veleanu, in court briefings, refutes the fei tsui description, claiming, "Fei tsui jade is not the same as 'imperial jade'…The Mandarin Chinese name of jadeite emanates from two characters Fei and Tsui and in Chinese, Fei Tsui."

Over a two-year period, Spiridinakos spent over $12,365 buying antique malas from Veleanu.

It was two calligraphy brushes, however, that first sounded the alarm. In November 2008 Spiridinakos bought two brushes for $2400 from Veleanu, who described them as having a superb quality.

In an affidavit, Spiridinakos writes, "After receiving the brushes, I examined them through my 10X and 20X loops [sic] (jewelers' magnifying glasses) using a flashlight behind them so I could see clearly into the alleged jadeite beads on the brushes. What I saw shocked me. They were filled with small bubbles inside and totally translucent. Jade never looks like that—only glass dyed green to give the appearance of jade!"

She returned the brushes for a refund, but Veleanu insisted she was mistaken—they were, he claimed, the highest quality jade. Spiridinakos was swayed and offered to buy them back. Veleanu agreed, but only if she paid double the original $2400 price. She declined. He claims he raised the price in order to dissuade her from doing business with him anymore.

Spiridinakos consulted a jeweler, who advised her to have all of her jade malas tested by the now-defunct American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) laboratory. The AGTA, according to court papers, reported that every mala sold to her by Veleanu was fake—made of dyed quartz instead of jade.

According to the lawsuit, Veleanu rejected the lab results, disparaged AGTA, claiming he had never heard of it, and, to this day, has not taken back the malas, despite saying he would do so if they were indeed fake.

Representing himself, Veleanu filed a 14-page single-spaced "Motion to Dismiss All the Charges" on September 9. While occasionally rambling, Veleanu was resolute. "I strongly deny the allegations, and I will present facts showing that my business of selling antiques and antiquities is ethical, dealing in high quality art objects acquired in good faith from reputable sources," he writes.

(The court didn't look kindly on Veleanu's writing. "These responses are generally lacking in any evidentiary value as they are not properly sworn to, are speculative and conclusory, and consist mainly of denials and self-serving statements unsupported by any evidentiary material in proper admissible form.")

In his defense, Veleanu claimed he tested the material. "The jadeite mala were tested by me for hardness with a sharp stainless steel knife and this test proved that the jade material was harder than 5.5 on Moh's hardness scale and not made from a soft stone like a simulant stone would be."

Veleanu tried to distinguish differences between jade in jewelry and jade art objects, which he claims are not routinely tested. "As a matter of fact, I never encountered any sales of jade in which the seller attached a gemological report linked to the sale. This statement applies to all sales of jade art objects sold by most reputable auction companies such as Sotheby's and Christie's, as well as any other well-known auction companies such as I.M. Chait, Skinner, Inc., and high-end companies selling jade. Jade in the form of jadeite or nephrite sold by all auction companies and large reputable high-end dealers is sold on the basis of recognition by experts from these companies that sell jade, that the art objects are made from jade. This is based solely on visual examination and not laboratory testing."

He states, "The ethical standard for the sale of jade carvings as art objects and not jewelry is based on the carvings' appearance by means of simple visual examination aided by high magnification through a loupe and by performing a hardness test."

Veleanu provided the court with lengthy passages criticizing the testing procedures applied to the mala ("not only inaccurate but misleading") as well as the "Petrologic, Mineralogic, and Gemological Data in Support of My Defense Against the Allegations."

The court ruled that Veleanu is "permanently enjoined from advertising for sale through any medium and from selling any item any part of which is allegedly made of jade, whether it belongs to him or anyone else, unless and until he has had the jade item tested by the American Gemological Trade Association Testing Center, or a lab of equal representation, and the lab certifies that the material in the item is jade."

He is also "permanently enjoined from transferring any item, any part of which is allegedly made of jade, in his collection of art and artifacts to anyone without first advising the Attorney General of the person or entity to whom it is being transferred and for what purpose."

The court ordered Veleanu to keep his business records intact and to provide a full accounting of his business dating back to August 1, 2003, including "the person's name, contact information, a description of what was sold, the price paid, and the date sold." Penalties and fees are yet to be determined.

The court advised Veleanu to get an attorney. "Given the seriousness of the matter and the potential implications as to the assessment of restitution, costs and a money judgment…it is strongly suggested…that he seek legal assistance and representation in this proceeding…."

G. Nicholas Garin, an assistant attorney general handling the case, was blunt in a court filing. "What he represents as high quality ancient jade artifacts are nothing more than everyday quartz objects infused with green dye to fool the casual collector."

Veleanu's name may be familiar to some. He has authored four books, Jade: 5000 B.C. to 1912 A.D., A Guide for Collectors; Antique Swords & Daggers; Netsuke; and Tibetan Artifacts.

The attorney general's office is looking for other customers of Veleanu, who are asked to call (845) 485-3900 if they purchased art or artifacts they suspect are fake.

Originally published in the December 2009 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2009 Maine Antique Digest

http://www.maineanti...tories/?id=1606

------------------------------
Below is part of DECISION/ORDER/JUDGEMENT from Supreme Court of The State of New York given to me by Mr.G.Nicolas Garin of N.Y. State Attorney General for public viewing...if you need all Attorneys, Court and reply to the court of Dr.Mircea Veleanu in full document, pls feel free to contact me.

Nov 14, 2009
ORDERED and ADJUDGED that respondent DR.MIRCEA VELEANU, or any person or entity acting in his behalf, is permanently enjoined from violating General Business law and executive Law and from engaging in the fraudulent, deceptive and illegal practices alleged herein including the material misrepresentation of any items he offers for sale; and it is further.

ORDERED and ADJUDGED, that respondent is permanently enjoined from advertising for sale through any medium and from selling any item any part of which is allegedly made of jade, whether it belongs to him or anyone else, unless and until he has had the jade item tested by the American Gemological Trade Association Testing Center, or a lab of equal representation, and the lab certifies that the material in the item is jade; and it is further

ORDERED and ADJUDGED, that respondent is permanently enjoined from transferring any item, any part of which is allegedly made of jade, in his collection of art and artifacts to anyone without first advising the Attorney General of the person or entity to whom it is being transferred and for what purpose; and it is further

ORDERED and ADJUDGED, that said respondent is permanently enjoined from directly or indirectly destroying or disposing of any records pertaining to his business selling art and artifacts; and it is further

ORDERED , that respondent is directed to provide to the Attorney General, within thirty (30) days of the date of this decision, order and judgment, a full accounting from August 1, 2003 to the present, of persons or entities to whom he has sold items any part of which he represented as made of jade, said accounting to include the person’s name, contact information, a description of what was sold, the price paid, and the date sold; and it is further

ORDERED , that any Order and Judgment relative to potential restitution (including the claim of Ms. Spiridinakos), and the assessment of penalties, costs or money judgment against respondent is held in abeyance pending the completion by petitioner of its investigation of potential claims and the submission of the accounting ordered herein to be provided by respondent.

Counsel for petitioner and respondent shall appear before this Court on December 14, 2009 at 9.30 a.m. for a conference to monitor the status of ongoing investigation.

This Court notes that to date respondent (DR.MIRCEA VELEANU) has appeared pro se in this proceeding. Given the seriousness of the mater and the potential implications as to the assessment of restitution, cost and a money judgment, along with the injunctive relief already granted, it is strongly suggested to respondent that he seek legal assistance and representation in this proceeding so that he may be made fully aware of what is involved and what his rights and responsibilities are under this Order and judgment….

(He represented himself, no lawyer was hired and working on his behalf.)

If you are victims (local or overseas) of Dr.Mircea Veleanu please contact: Mr.Nicholas Garin for further investigation.
Atty. Nick Garin
New York State Office of Attorney General
235 Main Street, 3rd Floor, Poughkeepsie, New York
12601-3194
Telephone: Nick Garin
(845)485-3925 Fax:(845)452-3303
E-mail: Nicholas.garin@OAG.State.ny.us
Website : http://www.oag.state.ny.us/

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#2 AnitaMui

AnitaMui

    Prefect (Taishou 太守)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 16 posts
  • Location:Hong Kong
  • Interests:Ancient Chinese jade artifact
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese History

Posted 17 November 2009 - 05:28 PM

Close up picture of fake jadeite sold to victim.

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#3 AnitaMui

AnitaMui

    Prefect (Taishou 太守)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 16 posts
  • Location:Hong Kong
  • Interests:Ancient Chinese jade artifact
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese History

Posted 17 November 2009 - 05:30 PM

A test paper by AGTA presented to Supreme Court of New York.

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#4 AnitaMui

AnitaMui

    Prefect (Taishou 太守)

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  • Location:Hong Kong
  • Interests:Ancient Chinese jade artifact
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese History

Posted 17 November 2009 - 05:52 PM

Reviewer of his jade book, Jade: 5000 B.C. to 1912 A.D., a Guide for Collectors (Schiffer Book for Collectors) (Hardcover) written by Mircea Veleanu

"I ordered this book hoping that it would attempt to provide a reference tool on authentication, dating and typology of jade for Western collectors. Such books exist in Chinese language, although they tend to be overly subjective, written by collectors, or narrowly academic, written by academics. There are also Chinese-language references for the general public that are simplistic and lacking in the most basic grounding in history and academic references.

This turns out to be a highly subjective book by an amateur Western collector with little or no knowledge of the extensive bibliography on jade in Western languages, let alone Chinese. I am tempted to throw this book away. Almost all of the jade illustrated is fake or very crude, or misattributed (Liangzhu culture to Shang, for example). Here and there an interesting piece sneaks in but this author would not be able to identify it or tell the reader what makes it interesting.

About the only redeeming feature of the book is an introduction in which Mr. Veleanu talks about his own life experience and how he came, quite late in life, to an interest in jade. I only hope that he applied more rigor to his studies of medicine than he does to his research on jade."

Edith Terry
Hong Kong

Edith Terry is an author of 2 books, How Asia Got Rich and Pearl River Delta Super-Zone. And Managing Director of Cotton Tree Productions, a boutique research house providing knowledge management for clients on East Asia. Her opinion on this Jade book is valuable and believable.

Cotton Tree website:-
http://www.cottontre...Principals.html
--------------------------------------------------

Reviewers of his Netsuke book were shocked at how bad it was
The Worst Book on Netsuke, February 17, 200

By S. C. Wertheim "warburg" (New York City) -

Avoid this book! Itis a relatively expensive tome with hundreds of illustrations, almost all of which are of cheap Chinese fakes with some of crudely carved Meiji export pieces, many with displayed signatures, none of which are identified. One piece, reproduced both on the back cover and also on the back of the dust jacket, shows a copy of the traditional 18th century netsuke model of a Dutchman carrying a cockerel, with drilled himotoshi on the front of the figure!

I am an experienced collector, but I've never seen anything like this publication and don't know what to make of it.

-----------------------------------------
More is Way Less, March 1, 2008
By Cordevero (Anywhere, USA) - See all my reviews

I am an inveterate netsuke collector for over 20 years. In addition, as a student of the subject, I have an extensive library. That this volume is terrible is one thing. There are many books -- so-called "vanity publications" -- where the cost of publishing is born by the author. The astute reader knows to tread carefully with those volumes (although there are many fine books of this type) because the book has no editorial constraints. The problem here is that this book is published by a respected commercial publisher who should have known better. The imprimatur of a respected publisher would lead one to the conclusion that some editorial attention and vetting would be present. Uh-uh.

Although I confess to not having the patience to review every page, those that I did are replete with fakes, Hong Kong knock-offs and pure junk. If Amazon would permit zero stars, I would have given it that score. Caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware.

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful:
-------------------------------------------------
1.0 out of 5 stars Netsuke, August 18, 2008
By Netsuke Collector (California) - See all my reviews

While browsing a large Asian bookstore recently a friend who knows I've collected and studied netsuke seriously for over 30 years pointed out this book. I already owned every other title on netsuke in the store. I thumbed through the book for a couple of minutes and read some of the text. That was all it took to convince me that the book was not only a bad purchase for a collector of original, old Japanese netsuke but also for anyone interested in quality modern netsuke. Perhaps it contains a few pieces "of merit" (and that doesn't neccessarily mean expensive as there are many interesting and collectible pieces that can purchased for $500 or so) but I'm afraid I did not see any of them in this book. In my years of collecting there have been many instances in which someone has told me I have to go see the netsuke on display at this or that antique store or emporium. Invariably (with one exception) they have turned out to be of the commercial quality such as are displayed in this book. You will not find anything like these in a decent museum collection or knowlegable dealer's inventory. Under the Amazon/publishers description of this book I find it revealing that three links were listed with the following information:

"Asian Art Mall over 1,000 to choose from.
Large selection of high quality reproductions. Quantity discounts.
We buy and sell ivory for crafters Purchasers of estate elephant tusks".
These fit right in with the material displayed in this book. It is a shame to see this book listed along with the many fine texts that exist on netsuke and inro. I only hope that it will not influence novice purchasers of these pieces to continue accumulating what most serious collectors could only refer to as junk. The author has done the netsuke world a disservice in creating such a tome which will likely mislead the unknowlegable into wasting even more money. Furthermore, the author has written a completely inappropriate response to one of the reviewers who is recognized world-wide by collectors and who has published the most impressive bibliography ever written, "The Ultimate Netsuke Bibliography". The author would do well to review back copies of the Journal of the International Netsuke Society and compare his published pieces to those in the articles or perhaps buy through Amazon a copy of the L.A. County Museum of Art's extensive text on netsuke from the Bushell collection. That would be the best use of $75 I could think of for the author and potential buyers of his book.

-------------------------------------
Author fights back against horrible review

It is understandable that somebody might not like netsuke from different sources, it appears as you are a very discriminate collector!

You wrote that "thumbed through the book for a couple of minutes and read some of the text". This made you to decide to write a negative review on Amazon.com!
No honorable person would do such acts as you did, unless urged by somebody to do so. You should be ashamed of yourself, you "no name netsuke collector" from California!.

My response to your writing is directed to your statement: "the author has written a completely inappropriate response to one of the reviewers who is recognized world-wide by collectors and who has published the most impressive bibliography ever written "The ultimate netsuke bibliography".

It is interesting that another reviewer wrote a similar statement related to Norman Sandfield, the author you are referring to.

Do you have any financial interest or gain in Norman Sandfield's business, or are you one of the intimate friends of Norman Sandfield?.

Norman Sandfield never wrote a review of my book on Amazon.com and obvously, I could not respond to him. Sandfield wrote in the International Society Journal an inaccurate review of my book, full of libelous statements, all not true to the facts. I attempted to reply by certified mail to Sandfield's Journal without any success. You are claiming that I wrote an inappropriate response to a person who libeled me and did not give me opportunity to reply.

Are you a subscriber to Intenational Netsuke Society?
It appears that you were urged by somebody, or an organized group, to write something without the full knowledge of the facts.


Have fun
Anita

Attached Files


Edited by AnitaMui, 18 November 2009 - 02:53 PM.


#5 AnitaMui

AnitaMui

    Prefect (Taishou 太守)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 16 posts
  • Location:Hong Kong
  • Interests:Ancient Chinese jade artifact
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese History

Posted 18 November 2009 - 05:07 AM

More details at:-

http://www.transluce...c.php?f=5&t=207

Have fun
Anita

#6 Kenneth

Kenneth

    Grand Marshal (Da Sima/Taiwei 大司马/太尉)

  • CHF Han Lin Scholar
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    Ancient Chinese Arsenals
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Ancient Weapons. Artefact studies.

Posted 18 April 2010 - 07:11 PM

More details at:-

http://www.transluce...c.php?f=5&t=207

Have fun
Anita

Hi Anita,
I have heard of this guy a couple of years back. A jade collector corresponded with me, and I did not like the looks of his items especially and I tried to be polite & so the collector used this "Dr." as someone who approved the appearance of one of his items.
"...Do you believe the jade fish (see pictures attached) is quite old? (Dr. Mircea Veleanu believes it can be old and it was carved in the Western Zhou style and it looks like another fish found in a jade book but he couldn't confirm without examining it personally.) Your opinion will be greatly appreciated...."
So it was obvious to me Dr Veleanu was either deluded about his jade expertise or a plain crook (as he is a dealer too, it could be either).
There are lots of people in the antiques world who use 'Dr.' in their title but once you look you see that their qualifications are not in an area of any relevance.
There are actually better 'Dr's out there I know who have very high educations and employment in institutions who do not flash their titles around in discussions because they have humility. The avoid using their titles when they are in conversations with people.

So at least it sounds like this 'expert' got his just reward for either incompetence or dishonesty in antique selling.

Edited by Kenneth, 18 April 2010 - 07:12 PM.

Climb over the Great Firewall.
http://www3.youtube....h?v=tzax4KkQ4ug

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