Detecting Fake Marks on Western LeatherBy

Detecting Fake Marks on Western Leather

Norm Truesdell of Texas wrote ACRN about a great way to detect "forged" makers marks on vintage leather holsters and other Cowboy and Western leather items. He described how he uses a black light when examining these items.

"When a fake mark is embossed in the leather (with a metal stamp) it disturbs the original surface. Exposing a recently marked piece to long wave black light frequently causes the newly stamped area to react differently than the original surface."

Norm said that the increasing price of authentic Western memorabilia has made leather goods tempting targets for forgery. He says most of the forged marks are being stamped on genuinely old but originally unmarked leather goods especially holsters. Marks of less desirable makers are also tampered and sometimes concealed with decorative stamping. Once the original mark is hidden, the name of a more desirable maker or merchant is added.