Questions & Answers
Buying & Selling
Fantasy "Big Logo" Railroad China
Of the different categories of fake railroad china, the type shown on this page is one of the easiest to call. It has a number of characteristics:
Strictly speaking , this china is best described as "fantasy" china rather than reproduction china, since these patterns were never used by a railroad. In other words, there was never an original pattern to reproduce.
If this china appeared at a railroadiana show, its lack of authenticity would not only be emphatically pointed out, but its very existence might be in jeopardy! However, nowadays a lot of railroadiana is bought and sold on the internet, so both buyers and sellers who are new to collecting may be unaware that it is bogus.
How can you avoid getting taken by fake railroad china? As with other areas of collecting, the usual advice about self-education and learning from other collectors is especially applicable. Collectors organizations regularly publish information on china fakes and reproductions and are well worth joining. In addition, read the two fine publications that have been written on railroad china: Dick Luckin's "Dining on Rails" and Doug McIntyre's "The Official Guide to Railroad Dining Car China". Finally, attend railroadiana shows - see Rob Hoffer's Event Calendar -- where you can examine real china sold by reputable dealers. At railroadiana shows, most dealers are generous with information and are quite eager to inform buyers on what is authentic and what is not. Fake china, like the "Big Logo" china shown here, is both bad for their business and bad for the hobby.
Notes: Thanks to Mike Brynd for supplying these images. Also thanks to Bill and Sue Knous of Railroad Memories who have generously shared their extensive knowledge of railroadiana counterfeits and to Rob Hoffer for his comments.