Thursday, April 24, 2014

Is It or Isn't It?

Thursday, April 24, 2014
            (Sunny and Very Cold)

Is It or Isn't It?

   I sometimes get a question akin if a particular toy is authentic or a reproduction. My first reply is to ask for photos so that I can search out the "real" toys,and then try to make an educated guess. I'm not an expert, but I try to compare. Also, I like to post this question, because I'd like readers to help out if they can.

   Betty Watkins wrote to me yesterday asking about a cast iron Kenton Ice Truck. Betty mentioned that the truck had screws in it. Most of the time,  cast iron toys have bolts. One end is rounded, and the other was moved through the left and right sides of the cast iron parts. When the 2 halves were tight, the factory worker would take a pean hammer (round headed) and hammer the flat end flat to attach the 2 halves together. The newly-flattened end would tighten the side its on, and keep the entire toy together. In "rare" cases, I have seen nuts and bolts or even threaded bolts with nuts attached, but this is extremely rare, and I've only seen a driver or a truck secured in his seat with a nit and bolt.

  I wrote Betty back and asked for large-sized photos with lots of different camera angles and the underside. Many cast iron companies of the case iron era would hammer their name into the underside and sometimes even added numbers.

  when I awoke today, I had plenty of photos, and after my usual Tim Horton's Coffee and low-fat muffin, I came home. I searched for a "real" Kenton Ice Truck on Liveauctioneers, but only found one that I have permission to use. It was from Bertoia Auctions.  I saw another image on a search engine showing a image, but I don't have their permission to use their mirages.

I'm going to have you, the reader look at the Bertoia authentic Kenton items and Betty Watkin's presentation (reproduction) and compare the two.

How many differences did you notice?

The very apparent differences:

1. Betty's truck had painted wheels rather than nickel-plated wheels.

2. Betty's wheels are spokes, while the Bertoia wheels are solid and disks.

3. The Bertoia trailer has a rest underneath so that when the trailer is detached 
from the truck,it can rest on the ground.

4. There are no threaded screws on the Bertoia item.

5. Bertoia's  trailer hook had flat surfaces, while Betty's are round.

6. The paint on the authentic Bertoia's item is solid, whereas Betty's item
had black brush strokes underneath the colours to "age" the toy.

7.  Bertoia's item was better cast with smooth surfaces and no filing marks.

8. Bertoia's item again is smooth without any dents or chips.

9. Bertoia's   truck is painted red, while Betty's is a deeper purplish/mauve colour.

There are a few other differences, but I think I've covered enough of them 
for you to see the major differences.

  I'm 99.99% sure Betty's item is a reproduction, and she even wrote today that she also felt that it was. Her other question today was when might have her "reproduction" been made and who made itI can't answer her for sure, but I'd say probably anywhere from the 1980's-2000's. If anyone reading this post has the answer or a similar "reproduction" please feel free to write me. Also, if you have an "authentic" Kenton truck and tandem trailer, would you please send me lots of additional photos, so that I may add them to this post.

Thanks for visiting,
and as always, 
have a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may  be.


Bob Walden said...

Love the comparisons of fake and real! My first hint would have been the Phillips screws and the rough surface. Any more comparisons on fake, reproductions vs old would be very welcome. I am seeing a lot of very grotesquely painted older pieces. Saw a thresher on Sat that said Arcade and all the parts were there but some one had done a terrible job on the painting. Bidding went over $100!

toysearcher said...

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the comment. I just saw someone on ebay selling "vintage" toys,but it was plain as day that they were not even reproductions of the brand names of old times. What's worse is that Ive seen the same items elsewhere for $19.95 and this person was selling then for close to $ 100.00 on ebay.

I once complained to ebay about someone, which I've only ever done once. Every week they would have a "rare" authentic cast iron toy up for sale with of course the description of the same. Of course, when I saw the same photo week-after-week, but with different ebay identification numbers, I decided to complain.

I never heard from ebay, but the person eventually stopped selling!

I hope that most collectors or new collectors would research first before buying.