I have in the past few years seen two other figures that were marriages between a good figure and a good bocage--the problem in each case was that the bocage was not the correct one for the figure.Yes, the work had been very well done, so only knowledge of the correct bocage form for each figure protected collectors from falling into a trap. Again, paint stripper would have revealed the truth, but this is a pretty drastic step. I have watched collectors and dealers as I talk about bocages. Their eyes glaze over. But this is vital knowledge and we all need to tune in to it. Knowledge is power!
I was browsing around the web today and discovered an old auction listing for a Rural Pastime figure. (Photos are the property of Auction By The Bay and are used here solely for educational purposes.)
In this case, it is easy to see that the bocage has been reattached because the join in the tree trunk is quite visible. Despite this, the figure sold at auction for $1000. The auction listing was quite upfront about the damage to the tree trunk and other damage. There was certainly enough information to set off alarm bells and a full condition report probably provided additional information.
Remember that bocages do break off figures and they can be reattached. This is not a disaster scenario. I accept an original bocage being reattached. After all, all the original material is present and accounted for. But having the wrong bocage stuck on is a no-no. Below is the Rural Pastime figure as it should look, with its original bocage in place.