Searching for Vintage Collectibles
All of these new pieces of Black memorabilia have one feature in common: all are very carefully made to resemble construction and wear normally associated with similar vintage pieces.
Figural bottle openers became collectible as twist-off and pop-top containers replaced bottles sealed with metal caps. The majority of authentic collectible bottle openers were made between the 1940s and mid-1960s. Even though original openers are not especially old, they have been popular targets of reproduction importers. Three of the most recent copies are shown here.
A collector recently notified ACRN about reproduction Hull Pottery wall pockets. The collector had two new pieces in his possession and reported seeing many more in the Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland area. New and old can be separated by the mark on the back. The authentic Hull mark is formed with block style lettering. The new mark is a cursive or script style lettering. The same new mark also appears on reproduction 10 orchid pattern vases (see ACRN Dec 1999). Differences are most obvious in the double Ls. Script-style marks were used on some Little Red Riding Hood items but never on floral pattern lines.
The hobby of collecting antique marbles is already several decades old. However, in the past ten years or so marbles have become one of the most popular types of collectible toys. It is only in this recent period that collectors have turned their attention from handmade German marbles of the latter half of the nineteenth century and very early twentieth century to include the machine made marbles that eventually supplanted the former around the time of the First World War. And as with any type of collectible, such marbles in their original packaging are much more desirable than those that are not.
In many cases, factory produced reproductions are made in such large numbers that their sudden appearance alone is often enough to make buyers suspicious. Most are relatively easy to detect after they are publicized.
Metal pins first issued in the 1970s which feature Buster Brown and Tige are being soldered to hatpins, toothpick holders, napkin rings and other objects. Such objects with recently attached pins are then represented as vintage advertising pieces. Faked pieces have been bringing fairly substantial sums. A hatpin (Fig. 3) made with one of the 1970s pins recently brought $75 in an on-line auction.
Introduced in 1934, the Hamilton Beach Drinkmaster mixer has been a standard for Art Deco collectors as well as persons recreating the 1950s look in family rooms. The design is so popular its back in production.
Some of the most colorful original Victorian toys are made of wood covered with lithographed paper. Commonly referred to by collectors as litho over wood, this category of toys is highly prized for its bright colors and folk art appearance.
The fake Bonnie and Clyde poster below (Fig. 1) was recently sold for over $300 through a phone/mail auction. It was described as original and came with a letter of authenticity. The auctioneer personally told the buyer it was absolutely authentic. When the poster was delivered to the buyer, a retired FBI agent, he had the advantage of comparing it to genuinely old posters he already owned and found major problems. Federal Bureau of Investigation - John Dillinger, Machine Gun Kelly
At a recent New York auction, an original Pairpoint Puffy Rose Bouquet lamp sold for $15,000. Reproductions of the Rose Bouquet plus three other styles are now being imported from China. The other styles include hummingbird, butterfly and floral shades. Originals of these lamps bring from a starting average of $3,500 for florals to $4,500$7,500 for butterflies and hummingbirds. The Chinese reproductions wholesale for an average of $150 each. Available since 1998, new Puffy shades are frequently confused with old and commonly paired up with genuinely old bases. This article will compare the differences in construction between the new reproductions and authentic originals.