The original Troika moulds which caused some controversy amongst the collecting community when they were auctioned in 2005.

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The convincing fakes, which include well-known Newlyn period models such as coffin and wheel vases, are understood to be Troika factory blanks that have been recently decorated and painted with factory marks.

ATG have seen images of more than 20 of the redecorated wares sold for often substantial sums in December and January by a Stoke on Trent-based seller who operates under the user name 'misterphluffy'.

He has more than 90 transactions listed on this eBay account alone (he is thought to have other aliases including 'misterbriss'), which points to a substantial faking operation.

When the Troika pottery in Newlyn closed its doors in 1983, its moulds and a quantity of undecorated biscuit wares were secured for posterity, not in a local museum or the collection of a Troika devotee, but in a garden shed in Northumberland.

Having failed in a quiet attempt to find a single buyer for the collection in its entirety, the owner has sold it piecemeal via a number of outlets including the salerooms of North East auctioneer Jim Railton. It has long been argued in the Troika collecting community that the release of the original moulds and biscuit 'blanks' onto the market offered the potential for reproduction and deception.

Seasoned buyers told ATG that discrepancies exist between these recently decorated wares and those made by the factory prior to closure. In particular, the colour palette is wrong for the early 1980s period and, when placed side-by-side, the painters' marks and painted factory signatures differ greatly from originals. The repainted wares also lack the white/cream gloss glaze that one would expect to the interior of a factory-finished piece.

The seller 'misterphluffy' is also understood to have sold Beswick fakes and, at the time of going to press, was also listing a potentially scarce Royal Doulton figure Jack Point HN2080 that ATG had good reason to believe was counterfeit.

EBay have yet to act on their complaints, although police are now considering an investigation.

By Roland Arkell