Searching for Collectibles
When many people think of reproduction toys, they often limit their concerns to elaborate mechanical banks, complicated wind ups, character toys or fancy space toys. But while toys of cast iron and die stamped tin certainly are widely copied, buyers often forget to be wary of simpler toys made of paper, wood and cloth.
This reproduction brass match holder has just appeared in the market. It is solid brass with a dark antique finish, 11 tall, 3 wide.
A sewing bird is a clamp, usually fastened to a table, to hold fabric for hemming or embroidery. The first sewing clamps were individually forged in the first quarter of the 19th century. By the mid-1800s, sewing birds were factory-made of iron and or brass. Some clamps were figural including birds which gives the clamp its name.
Picture buttons are among the most popular and expensive of antique buttons. They are almost always made of metal and constructed of two or more separate pieces or layers. Designs include animals, birds, insects, occupations, sports, and famous persons to name a few of the more popular categories. Picture buttons based on well known subjects from fairy tales, operas, literature, poetry or folk tales are called story buttons.
This elephant doorstop just started showing up in the market. Its dull gold paint with flat black highlights looks aged. We could not find an old counterpart.
made in China and Indonesia
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.
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.