Where Yesterday Meets Tomorrow
Be very cautious about purchasing advertising posters for rock concerts, political events, sports events, etc. Counterfeit posters have flooded the auctions and flea markets. Common frauds include Woodstock, Beatles tours, Joe Lewis and Mohammed Ali fights, Dull Durham tobacco, etc. We've seen such posters sell at auction for $50 and more but they are nothing more than deliberate hoaxes. (Tickets to such events are also being counterfeited.) To avoid being cheated check the condition of the paper. The authentic posters were printed on cheap cardboard using methods that are easily duplicated today. On an authentic poster, the paper will show noticeable aging no matter how well it was stored.
There has been a regular mini-industry in reprinting facscimiles of early paper items. Here are a few of the common ones you might encounter.
The Ulster County Gazette, January 4, 1800. This issue announces the death of Washington. Only one copy is known to exist. But much later in the 19th century, some enterprising fellow figures out that this was an article that would have popular interest. He reprinted the issue using early paper. It is well over 100 years old and has a very autheniic look to it. I once bid over $100 for a copy at an auction and didn't get it (Thank Heavens!) The reprint is worth something in it's own right - about $15 - $20.
Harper's Weekly, 1861. You can get a subscription to the 1861 Civil War issues of the Harper's Weekly right now! What they send you are reprinted copies of the 1861 issues. The "Weekly" is being issued once per month. The format is modern magazine format rather than the larger format of the original, so if you're familiar with them, you won't be fooled. But they're showing up at flea markets and on eBay, sometimes without any warning that they're reprints, If you're not familiar with the originals, you can be fooled.
Police Gazette, 1891. I just bought a reprint of an 1891 Police Gazette. There is nothing printed on it indicating that it is a reprint. To buy it, I had to persuade the garage sale operator that it was a reprint, not a very valuable original. Fortunately, it is marked with a rubber stamp that said it is a reprint souvenir. It now occupies a proud space in our Repro exhibit. Again, the unitiated could easily mistake this for an original.
Liberty Magazine calendars Prior year calendars can be reused. The days and dates repeat in the same patterns every few years (Anywhere from 4 to 16 years apart, depending on leap years, etc.) Exploiting this fact, some clever fellow reprinted a series of calendars with Liberty Magazine Covers. They have dates such as 1927, but in very small print, at the bottom of the top sheet is says "This calendar is suitable for use in 1972.) A number of different years were reprinted. We routinely see these in antique stores and at Auctions being sold as authentic calendars. We've personally been burned on them at auction. Any old calendar that interest you, search it carefully for a small notation such as we quoted above.
Dionne Quints cut-out doll book We recently saw a Dionne Quints Cut-out doll book sell at auction for $45.00. There was a notation on the cover saying that this was a reprint copy of an earlier book, but it was printed in very small type in a color ink that blended in with the background color. We're pretty sure, from the way the auctioneer described the item, that he knew it was a fake, but the bidders obviously didn't have a clue.
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