Searching for Vintage Collectibles

Pepsi sign stirs debate

This metal 46 X 17 Pepsi sign is marked Stout Sign Co, St. Louis, MO and dated 1969. John Woods, current president of Stout Sign Co., has called these pieces a blatant fake. Woods based his judgement on a 20 step analysis. The signs in question have four holes die punched along the sides; Woods says Stout signs only have three. The paint on the sign above can be chipped with a fingernail. Paint on original Stout signs is virtually permanent. Some buyers have now come forward saying they purchased similar signs as far back as 1989. Until the issue is settled we suggest you be very careful of this sign.

Ivory Made of Fish Bone

Since the late 1980s, reproduction manufacturers have used fish bones as an ivory substitute. Larger bones are carved; smaller bones are ground up and cast in molds. Bones of fish and other animals water buffalo, cattle, etc. are attractive to reproduction manufacturers because all bone looks very similar to genuine ivory under black light.

New Halloween lanterns

Cardboard tab and slot jack-o-lanterns from the 1930-1950s were once the latest holiday-related collectible to be reproduced. These lanterns, new and old, are made of stiff cardboard with cutouts for the eyes, nose and mouth. Those openings are backed with thin, usually colored, paper. Originals have sold for between $50-75 with extra fancy examples worth $150 and up. Old cats and pumpkins similar to the new ones shown have sold for about $60-80.

Classic leather football helmets reproduced

Well made original leather football helmets from the 1920s-1930s in good condition in certain styles have sold for several hundred dollars and up. Now the same styles used in that era are being made new and have once sold for around $100 each wholesale.

Greentown glass buffalo paperweight

Among my favorite novelty items in glass is the Buffalo paperweight. The original was made by the Indiana Tumbler and Goblet Works (ITGW) of Greentown, Indiana. Unfortunately, it was reproduced at one time, but its quite easy to separate authentic pieces from the reproductions.

Certificate of authenticity came with purchase of new scrimshaw

Certificate of Authenticity issued for new scrimshaw is impressivelooking but is not a guarantee. Actual size 8X10.

A bad penny

In 1943, Lincoln pennies were made of zinc coated steel due to wartime shortages of copper. The steel pennies were produced at the Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco mints. Some 1943 pennies were made in copper by error. The 1943 fake above (left) is a steel penny that has been copper plated. Test suspected pieces with a magnet--steel will attract, copper willl not.

Metal Monster Wind Up Figures

The new ghoulish gang from left to right: Mummy, Frankenstein, Creature and Wolfman. Retail $95 each; 6 or more wholesale, $55 each.

Test Market Fiesta Lamps may be Confusing

This Fiesta lamp was recently sold to a subscriber as a rare original. Although it does have an old appearing mark, the 9 1/2 lamp was made only three years ago

Cover Art from Sporting Magazines

There is a new series of prints available taken from the covers of ca. 1920-30 sporting magazines. The prints are in full color and many feature the name of recognized wildlife or sporting scene illustrators.