I want to thank thebearpack and kwill for the Ithaca file data, and I'm convinced now that this Ithaca M1911A1 pistol is a fake.
I could use the term "reproduction," and often do for various items. In a lecture that I presented on reproduction Thompson items, I called out the following 3 reasons that reproductions exist, and discussed some positive and negative effects:
1.Motivation for profit
2.Satisfaction of duplicating originals
3.Some more sinister motives – Fooling others
• When reproductions cannot be distinguished from originals, values decrease, and collector interest can suffer due to frustration & mistrust
• Impact on future collectors develops as age blurs the differences between originals and reproductions
• The hobby can become tremendously impacted– Examples can be seen in WWII German items, M1 Carbines, M1 Garands, Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, many toys & other collectibles
• Easily distinguished reproduction items have a legitimate place in our collector community
1.Using reproductions can help preserve originals (i.e. stocks, barrels & other wearing parts)
2.Reproductions of scarce paper items can increase awareness of the history of the Thompson
3.Reproductions are used in Reenacting, motion pictures, and on “dummy” guns
• Those who mark their reproduction items appropriately offer a benefit to the Thompson collector community, and acknowledge their responsibility to differentiate
So, I'm curious as to why this fake Ithaca exists. Some questions I have are as follows:
At what price was it offered?
Was the high serial number called out as its main selling point?
Has the firearm been seen previously? (Has it been around a while, or seen in a display previously?)
I always encourage those who make any kind of firearm reproduction item to mark it appropriately. I wrote a very detailed reproduction standard that was adopted by The American Thompson Association. When reproduction items are not marked, the fog of time can change the perceived status of an item.
This "Ithaca" was probably made with intent to fool. Then again, I can offer some possible other reasons for its existence that are more innocent.
- Someone may have made this "Ithaca" for their own personal satisfaction, and then either passed away, or otherwise allowed it to enter the marketplace
- It could have been made as some kind of prop for a display
- Both these scenarios could have occurred prior to the item having enough value to generate a significant profit
Obviously, these are not good reasons, but I've seen them happen.
The best action is to document reproduction items, and talk about them in forums like this. If you are interested in seeing the presentation I did on this subject, you can download it here:
I plan to add this Ithaca M1911A1 example to a revised version of the presentation, and I welcome any further thoughts you may have on the subject..