REPRODUCTION OR REAL?

If you are new to collecting there are a lot of pieces out there that you will consider buying.  In the last 30 years, we have seen a large number of reproductions enter the market.  Some reproductions are made in the same shape, size and style of the original.  Some are easy to tell from the original, others are exact replicas and made to deceive the buyer.  Some are the exact same size but others are larger and you may think it is a variation.

As the price and demand go up on any collectible, reproductions will appear.  Back in the 1960’s reproductions were being made of Depression glass, cast iron toys, cast iron banks and cast iron door stops. Reproduction signs started being seen in the 1970’s and continues today.

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As for reproduction signs, do your homework on any item that you are investing your money in.  First and foremost, ask the seller if it is an original piece or a reproduction.   Ask if the seller guarantees the item to be an original.  Look at the piece for manufacturer marks and don’t assume just because it has a marker’s mark. We know that reproductions are being made by several companies including Desperate Sign Company and AAA Sign Company.

If you look at the number of holes there will be difference between the original and the reproduction.  Also look really closely around the grommets.oilzium copy

Sign companies who made the old signs used metal that resisted rust.  Grommets were used to protect the corners. If you see rust or lots of chipping around the grommets, beware.  This is not normal with an old sign.  Be conscious of size.  Is the size different from what you have seen…is it smaller or different?  Are the more holes than normal? Reproductions will often be a different size than the original.

Don’t forget to look at the back.  Porcelain does not rust and you can see from this picture it is made to rust to look old. The back of American made porcelain signs WILL NOT look like this. Note lots of rust around the holes. back

Lots of reproduction signs are from India. There are of low quality, feel grainy and the seller will “rough up” the holes and edges, including breaking off the porcelain and rusting them.  These are being shipped in quantities.  Where the problem comes in when they are purchased at a cheap price by US buyers,  than offered at auctions or on line for a high price as the original.  Here are some reproduction signs we have seen available for sale.packard

Willys Overland Whippet

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Your best bet is to buy from a reputable seller / dealer who knows what they are selling and can even give you some history of the piece. If you are buying on line, contact the seller and talk to the seller to very they guarantee the sign is old.  At the current time, the only online marketplace to only sell only original pieces (not reproduction)  is http://www.icollect247.com. The sellers on the site only sell original pieces.  There are no reproductions, no limited editions and nothing later than 1980.

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By the way, if you are just using is as a decorator piece or a barn hanger and you don’t care if it is a reproduction, go for it! Reproductions are an inexpensive way to enjoy collecting and decorating.  Just know what you are buying!

 If you end up buying a reproduction piece you thought was real, don’t give up on collecting!  Use it as a learning curve as part of collecting.  No matter how long you collect you will be fooled., believe me there is someone always out there reproducing something to fool the buyer.  Believe me when I tell you that it happens to even the best of us!

Pinbacks all Shapes & Sizes

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If you are short on space and short on money, then how about collecting small advertising pinback buttons?  These were small token giveaways left by the handfuls from salesmen who visited the local country stores.  Remember there were no radios, no television and no Facebook.  The best way to get someone to buy your product was to put a picture of your product on a small lapel button.  Remember also that not everyone could read and so putting a picture of wringer washing machine would sell the piece.

Small pinbacks were produced by Whitehead and Hoag, Bastian Brothers, Parisian Novelty and The American Art Works.  You will often these names on the sides of the pins.  Everything was advertised on them including beer, whiskey, soda, stoves, paint and just about anything that could be sold.  In many cases they looked like small oil paintings, as the colors are deep and resolution wonderful.

 

These can be found priced from $5.00 to $95, depending on the advertisement.  If you want to narrow your search, you could look for the ones with a theme. Colors are deep and selection are wide.

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Find over 300 different of this great celluloid pieces on www.icollect247.com.  Currently the only website that is only vintage and seller’s guarantee their listings as old is icollect247.com.

Living with a collection!

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No matter if you have just a few pieces in your home or your whole house showcases your collection, it is unique and no other home will look like yours.  Just as your house has a personality, so does your collection. Collectors enjoy sharing their pictures of how they have decorate and used their purchases in their home.

As both sellers and collectors we enjoy seeing those pictures. Here are two Coca-Cola some recent vintage pieces we have sold on icollect247.

These photos show how a recent buyer has displayed vintage Coca-Cola cardboards and vintageCoca-Cola trolley signs recently purchase from icollect247 along side their newer pieces.

We featured a Drugstore collection of wonderful pieces that were breathtaking in our Antique Back Roads magazine.  Terry McMurray has a collection of early Drugstore pieces which are to die for.

Pictures below of Terry McMurray’s Historic Drugstore

         Read and enjoy pictures of Terry’s collection in our magazine –                       www.AntiqueBackRoads.com – Back Issue Volume 9.

Collections are as individual as a DNA, no two are a like.  Here is how this collector displays his passion in his man cave.

Please share and subscribe to our Collector’s Corner through icollect247.com as we show more pictures of other collections we have been privileged to enjoy.

 

 

Why do people collect?

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That is an interesting question and if you are not a collector, you cannot understand what drives this community.  It is something that happens unconsciously, it is not a decision you have made, it just happens.

You see something with your name on it.

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Remember the Share a Coke Personalized bottles?

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Remember a Christmas Toy from Santa?toy

A memory of a vacation?

Are you looking for a piece of the family business?

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So, if you have started reading this, you must be interested in becoming a collector.  Only you can decide on what to collect. What are you drawn to? What makes you feel comfortable? Do you like to hunt for things?  With all of this in mind, the key is to buy what you like and what you can afford.  Collecting can be a fad, remember the Beanie Babies, so don’t buy something to get rich, buy to enjoy.

While we have mentioned Beanie Babies we also want to make you aware of Limited Edition items.  The dictionary says it is…a collector’s item, as a doll, plate, coin, die cast models, etc. of which only a given number is made.   Often manufacturers will make over ten thousand pieces of one item so there will never been of real value in your lifetime.

After you finish this article, look around you home, do you have three of anything?  If you do, you are a collector.  While there are a lot of places to buy and shop, we hope that you will check out the only vintage marketplace on line at http://www.icollect247.com.  Looking to learn about what people collect, check out our magazine http://www.AntiqueBackRoads.com. Be sure to share our blog and like us on facebook.

 

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Wow! Coca-Cola Chewing Gum

Coca-Cola chewing gum??? Why yes, there was! It was made from 1910 to 1917. The sticks of gum were shipped in the cardboard box that held the packs of gum. The gum was sold in packs for 5 cents each. After all the gum was sold, the store owner tossed these out, but luckily this one was saved. Amazing to look at something that is over 100 years old. If you know a Coca-Cola collector, ask them if they know about Coca-Cola gum!

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Rare 1916 Coca-Cola Chewing Gum Cardboard Box

Really the first commercial chewing gum in the US was in 1848 and made from the resin of spruce trees.  Then in 1869, after a lot of trial and error, a new gum was introduced as Adams New York chewing gum.  From there new flavors emerged including a licorice favor called Black Jack.

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1911 Franklin Caro Coca-Cola Chewing Gum Blotter

So Coca-Cola jumped in to join the many chewing gums offered.  Lots of advertising was done to promote the Coca-Cola gum, including die-cut cardboard pieces, bookmarks, and paper fans.  Due to the short time, the gum was produced, these early pieces of advertising are very hard to find.  However, you can still find it today on websites such as icollect247.com.  Feel comfortable with buying from the sellers on the site as they carry only “real” vintage pieces with no reproduction or limited edition items.  If you want to learn more about collecting, please subscribe to our blog.

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Uniforms in Miniature for Men

Have you ever heard of a salesman’s sample? No, what is it? Well way before the internet, salespeople traveled to sell their companies products and needed a miniature version of what they were selling. The could not carry a huge item with them into different stores to sell the store owner their product. So they made smaller versions of the real deal with working doors and the store owner could see the colors and style in order to decide if he wanted to stock the item.

One of the favorite salesman samples was a Buddy Lee Doll.  The dolls were dressed in everything from Lee Jeans to gas station uniforms and more.  These were carried to large companies to show them exactly what material would be used, how they would be labeled and more. Popular with Gas and Oil Collectors are Buddy Lee dolls dressed in Texaco, Phillips 66 and Shell.  These little guys were made to look exactly like the “Real Deal” even down to the small patches on their hats.  From composition dolls to hard plastic, they are happy little guys with a round head and side glancing eyes. Due to uniforms going out of style, these were discontinued in 1962.

However, when they became a pricey collectible, they were reproduced in the 1990’s. Once you see an original you can quickly tell a reproduction from a mile away.  The real vintage pieces can be priced from $350 for common uniforms to $700 for rarer ones.

Want to see more of the little guys for sale?  Check out http://www.icollect247.com and use the search  – buddy lee.  The website only offers original pieces for sale and all are guaranteed old.

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It’s not just an old Paint Can

Just as any collector, hunting for something to collect is half of the fun of collecting. I was in an old paint store over 20 years ago when I noticed an old can on the shelf with great old graphics.

Being in the billboard business, I used to paint on a daily basis and had never thought of the lowly paint can. I continued to look around the store and noticed an old Sherwin Williams “Cover the Earth Sign”, then another old sign with a boat, advertising Woolsey paint. At this point, I was hooked and thought this is for me.

Going from antique shop to flea market, I would ask for old paint cans, especially gallons. Of course, I got strange looks, as well as laughs, were common.  I quickly found that there was plenty out there and I needed to be more focused on what I purchased. I decided to collect the gallon cans with great graphics and only purchase smaller cans with colorful graphics when I found them.

Paint cans came in all shapes and sizes.  Older shaped cans including cone-shaped, triangular and rectangular are extremely rare.  The graphics on any of the older cans are wonderful with great attention to detail.  Some of the labels were printed on paper, while others were printed directly on the cans.  After collecting paint cans for over 20 years they are now extremely hard to find.

Watch for my other blogs on other paint advertising I collect! Share or like our blog and be sure to sign up when each new great article is posted.

Check out great vintage pieces on the website http://www.icollect247.com.  The site is all vintage with no productions and on limited editions.  Deal with quality sellers who are also collectors!