Collectors' Comments: Fakes & Reproductions

From time to time we receive information from other collectors about railroad fakes and counterfeits that they have encountered. This page is for posting their comments. See our disclaimer

About that seller from Hanover, PA: Now there's a Dietz new Vulcan globe (rare) bought unmarked and presto! shows back up marked N.C.Y.R.R. I wanted to point it out. - S.G. on 12/12/08

There is a dealer from Hanover,PA buying colored globes on the internet, etching them (mainly for the Western Maryland Ry) and then selling them on the internet for high prices. One example is an amber Kopp globe for a Dietz Vesta where the chips over the trademark K match in the "before" and "after pictures". -DA 11/17/08

I was reading through your website and I came across your information on fake locks and keys. What caught my eye was a picture of a lock with a brass plate on front that had Central Union & Pacific 20 on it. I came across a bunch of these at the Bouickville - Madison Antique Show in upstate New York. This show is huge with hundreds of dealers from all over the U.S. There is a female dealer who has been selling these fakes for the last 3 years at this antique show. Some of the fake locks she is selling are marked as folllows:

1) Just like the one you show on your website; 5" (tall) x 3"(wide), Rectangular brass plate with curved corners, Brass Plate Marked: Central Union & Pacific 25, the two keys and lock are marked with the number 70, there is a brass key hole cover too.

2) A very large lock 11" (tall) x 6" (wide), Same style as number 1 only larger, Oval Brass Plate Marked: Pennsylvania RR N0 1

3) Same as number 1; Brass Plate Marked: Alcatraz San Francisco 47

4) Same as number 1: Brass Plate Marked: San Quentin Death Row 75

5) Other locks the same as number 1; Brass Plate Marked, Remington Fire Arms Co with number.

6) Ball and chain with handcuffs and keys marked Alcatraz Prision or San Quentin Prison

7) Various handcuffs and Keys She had other locks and keys but I can't remember all of them.

All the locks and keys have a light coat of rust on them and the brass plates are covered partially with a fake patina. A little about the show: The antique dealers are set up in the town on both sides of mainstreet from monday through sunday and there is a huge field that is open on friday until sunday with hundreds of dealers. The difference between the main street dealers and the dealers in the field is that you have to pay to get into the field. This lady dealer who is selling these fakes always sets up on mainstreet; same spot. Her other items are usually knockoffs and she has tens to hundreds of them in large boxes. She was charging $125 for the big Pennslyvania RR locks and keys and $75 for the smaller Central Union & Pacific RR locks and keys. Three years ago when I went in her tent she had approximately 80 - 100 locks and their keys. This year she had about 40 locks and keys. So she is defintely selling them in a large quantity and they are entering the RR lock/key market. Last thought, most of the dealers travel to dozens of shows each year around the country and they restock between shows. I imagine that she is no different from these dealers who travel; so she is probably selling more than just the ones I mentioned. -Concerned Collector