Author Topic: eBay Pay Station Signs  (Read 724 times)

Offline Sargeguy

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4681
eBay Pay Station Signs
« on: September 19, 2014, 12:27:49 AM »
caveat emptor

I am not accusing anyone of misrepresenting reproduction signs at the real thing however these two very similar auctions caught my eye.  India is a notorious producer of convincing fake porcelain signs.  The signs they produce are artificially aged and the backs are artificially rusted with chemicals or salt water.  The authentic versions of this sign illustrated in Bob Alexanders A Collector's Guide to Antique Porcelain Telephone Signs illustrates a version that has the two holes placed towards the middle top edge of the sign, as if hung on a bracket, not in the corners as depicted in these examples below.  Also, is the rust orange or dark brown?  Authentic rust is usually dark in color while more recent rust is more or a red/orange color.

eBay auction from Tampa for $825:

Antique Rare Original Railroad/Subway/Bus Column Pay Station Porcelain Sign


Quote
Antique 1920-30s Original Railroad/Subway/Bus Pay Station Direction Sign. Heavy gauge metal porcelain in black and white. In good used condition, slightly bend - believe to be mounted on a large column. Does show wear and use, chips,rust and/or scratches. Please see photos closely, item in as found uncleaned! Super rare 18" by 5.5" smaller sign- but try to find another! An addition to any collection,thank you for looking and please see my other listings.

eBay auction from India for $79.99:

ORIGINAL OLD BEAUTIFUL PAYSTATION PORCELAIN ENAMEL SIGN 18 x 5 5

Quote
This auction is about OLD PAYSTATION Porcelain Enamel Sign board. This sign was used to advertise the type brand outside a dealer's store. It has got four screw fitting holes. Very beautiful enamel sign board! Got wear & Tear around the cornors (Check the pics). Size is 18 x 5.5 Inches.Approximately. Please check the pics and buy. THANK YOU AND HAPPY BIDDING.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2014, 10:59:42 AM by Sargeguy »
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
TCI /ATCA #4409

Offline Fabius

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2194
  • Porcelain Telephone Sign Collector
Re: eBay Pay Station Signs
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2014, 11:54:15 AM »
Thanks for posting this. It's hard to tell from a photo but the sign does not appear to have the heavy porcelain that a sign supposedly this old would have. There would be a noticeable height difference between the blue and white as one ran their finger over the surface. I sent a polite message to the seller so it will be interesting to see what, if anything, he says or does.

Take a look at his other items, there is one more sign I'd be careful about.

http://tinyurl.com/kjfgxjy

Tom Vaughn
La Porte, Indiana
ATCA Past President
ATCA #765
C*NET 1+ 821-9905

Offline Russ Kirk

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1250
Re: eBay Pay Station Signs
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2014, 01:41:30 PM »
Greg/Sargeguy

Can you provide some key pointers to novices like myself for what items to look for in a repo sign?

Thanks!

- Russ Kirk
ATCA & TCI

Offline Sargeguy

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4681
Re: eBay Pay Station Signs
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2014, 05:04:29 PM »
1.) Familiarize yourself with known types including dimensions.  Real Bell hubcaps are 7" while fakes are often larger

2.) Familiarize yourself with known fakes, we have a post pinned in this section. 

3.) Start collecting relatively common and inexpensive signs and work your way up

4.)  For flat signs, check the back.  The backs are usually messy looking with uneven application of enamel

5.) Flanges are less commonly faked than flat signs

6.) A sign with a relatively clean front but really rusty back is suspicious

7.) Ask yourself questions like "How did that Lincoln Telephone & Telegraph Company sign wind up in Buenos Aires?"  Argentina and India are sources of fake signs

8.) Red or orange rust is suspect-dark brown/black rust is better

9.) Porcelain signs have raised slightly raised lettering due to the process of manufacturing them, fake signs are usually flat.

10.) If buying off eBay, check the seller's sold items section to see if he has sold the identical sign previously.  Also type in the description the seller used to see if an identical sign shows up from another seller.  Dishonest sellers often have multiple aliases



« Last Edit: September 19, 2014, 05:15:15 PM by Sargeguy »
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
TCI /ATCA #4409