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Carlisle, PA Antique Mall FAKES!

Started by shrapneldude , Aug 12 2007 07:52 PM

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#1 shrapneldude

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 07:52 PM

Hello! I don't know if too many folks on here ever venture out to Pennsylvania much, but I was in Gettysburg over the weekend (and I bought up a whole mess of cool war stuff -- soon to be in the "latest finds" category), and came across a dealer I want to warn people about.

In Carlisle PA, just across from the Army War College main gate, is Northgate Antique Mall -- the place is great, and I've always gotten good deals there, and they have a phenomenally friendly staff -- but there is one dealer there, #3 is his case number, and he has 2 showcases FILLED with all sorts of 'treasures.' to the untrained eye, the relatively low prices for such amazing finds as WWII 101st Airborne patches, medal groups, NAMED Purple Hearts, DIs from the 501st, etc. would seem like a dream come true.

ALL THE STUFF IS FAKE! And not one daggone tag is marked "reproduction" which, in effect, makes it a FAKE. A tag reading "WWII AIRBORNE PATCH $32.00" when connected to a (well-made, I'll admit) brand new patch that has clearly been soaked in coffee (I kid you not, it actually smelled like folger's!) and rubbed in the mud, is outright fraud!

BEWARE! The guy puts all his really fake items in small riker-mount cases, so as to make them look more important, but also to prevent someone from discovering too quickly that they're practically brand new patches or pins inside. He's got a Marine raider knife in there now, in a 1943-stamped sheath -- looks legit, unless you smell the leather, or look to the left and see what is allegedly a German SS dagger in the exact same sheath, with German markings stamped on!

Also, in and around the Gettysburg area, there are a lot of great finds to be found -- the Quartermaster shop, and the Gettysburg Antique Mall are great places, but you have to be careful. I suspect that somewhere in central or western PA there is a large reproduction / fake operation that makes and distributes a lot of these rare and valuable patches and pins. BUYER BEWARE!!!

Good luck!

#2 cpatrick

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 08:05 PM

That should be a give away right there - there shouldn't be many "German markings" on the scabbard. The painted, or earlier anodized black scabbards were usually void of anything. The SS & NSKK used that same identical scabbard as well. Just keep in mind, let it be German daggers, or anything considered "rare", let the item itself prove that it is real.

Chris

#3 Brig

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 07:23 AM

I'm from Carlisle, PA (GET OUT OF MY REFUGE! IT'S UNTAINTED AND FOR ME TO HUNT! :lol: :lol:). I know of this dealer and have even told the owners, but they don't seem to care. All grade A 100% crap. The few collectors in the area, well, we know to avoid him like the plague

the Quartermaster SHop is a reputable business owned by the same guys who own the Farnsworth House (of Haunted History fame, right next door). However, he's open whenever he wants, and I haven't been able to catch him open in 3 years during my time home!

#4 shrapneldude

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 08:05 AM

I'm from Carlisle, PA (GET OUT OF MY REFUGE! IT'S UNTAINTED AND FOR ME TO HUNT! :lol: :lol:). I know of this dealer and have even told the owners, but they don't seem to care. All grade A 100% crap. The few collectors in the area, well, we know to avoid him like the plague

the Quartermaster SHop is a reputable business owned by the same guys who own the Farnsworth House (of Haunted History fame, right next door). However, he's open whenever he wants, and I haven't been able to catch him open in 3 years during my time home!



Haha! :D I'll stay out of Carlisle for a while - I've already visited the relatives and friends and that'll be enough for a while. I had to have the Farnsworth people call the Quartermaster on the phone and we made an appointment to meet up so I can dig around in there -- got some really nice Marine uniforms and medal sets there. You're really missing out if you don't stop in there and get him on the phone.

What I've found with most of the dealers in G-burg and Adams county is that they only open when they want. It's the same with the Abe Lincoln shop and Fields of Glory, but they're really missing out by not being open all the time during peak tourist season out there. Maybe they don't like all the sticky kids covered in Ice Cream feeling up all their priceless goodies. Anyhow, that's one hell of a hunting ground you got out there, so long as you avoid the fakes! I got burned bad on a set of WWI EGA Collar Discs.

One more thing -- there were about 40 or so of these "In-country Made Vietnam Special forces patches" in the Gettysburg Antique Mall. Anyone who knows SF guys from the Vietnam era will tell you they didn't all walk around with these gigantic patches, letting everyone know they were elite special troops...so these are either post-war souvenier pieces, or complete fallacies on the part of the dealer / producer of these patches.

#5 shrapneldude

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 08:11 AM

I'm from Carlisle, PA (GET OUT OF MY REFUGE! IT'S UNTAINTED AND FOR ME TO HUNT! :lol: :lol:). I know of this dealer and have even told the owners, but they don't seem to care. All grade A 100% crap. The few collectors in the area, well, we know to avoid him like the plague

the Quartermaster SHop is a reputable business owned by the same guys who own the Farnsworth House (of Haunted History fame, right next door). However, he's open whenever he wants, and I haven't been able to catch him open in 3 years during my time home!


I picked up a really interesting book out there -- they sell imperfect copies for pennies, and they're usually on sale too. The book is called "Gyrene" and it tells you everything you ever wanted to know about the WWII US Marine. What they thought, who they were, what they wore, etc. etc. etc. Its not a typical "officer's" history book, on how "these courageous men fought off the Japanese hoardes on Iwo Jima" it's about how PFC Smuckateli was hungry and tired and what he thought about when he wasn't being shot at, how they passed the time -- it's a really good read, especially to compare our experiences in Iraq to these guys who have been immortalized in the Marine culture. The geography may have changed, as have the times, but a Marine's mind and spirit hasn't.

#6 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 08:57 AM

I have also seen the same guys stuff ( at least I think it is his ) in different antique malls in the Adamstown PA area too. The MO you described is the same.

Kurt

#7 Brig

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 11:08 AM

he has multiple booths, I know that

DAMN! You're buying my Marine groups, haha

#8 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 11:19 AM

he has multiple booths, I know that

DAMN! You're buying my Marine groups, haha


I only buy them when I visit PA in the Summer http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif . I used to haunt those markets every weekend back in the late 80's . They are a shadow of their former glory.

Normally I am in Washington State.

Kurt

Edited by KASTAUFFER, 13 August 2007 - 11:20 AM.


#9 shrapneldude

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 05:38 PM

The workers at the Antique mall tell me he's a retired policeman. If that helps any. I'll bet he'd be quick to nab a counterfitter or a ticket scalper, or a kid with a fake ID!

As for the small riker-mount cases, a lot of malls and shops in that part of PA seem to do that. It's not something you see very often here in OH, or even IL or SC/NC. Usually you have to dig though a box of junk to find a decent patch, or sift through a stack of uniforms to find one with some brass on it. As far as I can tell, it's a ploy to get you to think that their garbage is nicer and buy it.
There are times in PA I've bought a junk repro patch just to get a good deal on a case I can put something better in! (NO, I Don't sell the repros as originals!)

It always pays to know what you're buying, but this "buyer beware" and "let the buyer decide" attitude of these scumbag dealers just doesn't cut it. If you are peddling garbage and passing it off to be the real deal, you're a fraud. Plain and simple.

This isn't some estate saler who comes across a good conduct medal and says it's WWII, when you have multiple cases of what WOULD be high-quality, rare, collectibles if they were real. It's sad that you see this more and more.

I wonder how many other hobbies are affected by this? I couldn't tell you the difference between a $500 Pez dispenser and a brand new one...maybe there's some jerk somewhere getting rich off mass-producing fake Barbie dolls too. Wherever there's a buck to be made, there's a scumbag to scam not far behind!

#10 Bob Hudson

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 06:00 PM

I wonder how many other hobbies are affected by this? I couldn't tell you the difference between a $500 Pez dispenser and a brand new one...maybe there's some jerk somewhere getting rich off mass-producing fake Barbie dolls too. Wherever there's a buck to be made, there's a scumbag to scam not far behind!


It happens with all types of collectibles which is why antique mall owners cannot and really should not be expected to ride herd on this sort of thing: they'd have to personally research every item in the mall. Most "antique" mall items are overpriced non-collectibles just waiting for someone with more money than brains to come along and buy them. I go a lot of them and am constantly amazed how much is priced at two or three times what it would go for on Ebay. You can't protect consumers from themselves.

#11 shrapneldude

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 07:06 PM

It happens with all types of collectibles which is why antique mall owners cannot and really should not be expected to ride herd on this sort of thing: they'd have to personally research every item in the mall. Most "antique" mall items are overpriced non-collectibles just waiting for someone with more money than brains to come along and buy them. I go a lot of them and am constantly amazed how much is priced at two or three times what it would go for on Ebay. You can't protect consumers from themselves.


Well said! I agree 100% http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

#12 Polygon

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 11:31 PM

Antique malls should always been approached with caution: expensive overheads usually means hiked up prices for military items, dealers cutting corners and mislabeling items to increase the value. I personally haven't had huge luck with them; I would much rather go to an outdoor flea market.

For example, I found a post-war West German wool coat labeled as "WW1" and priced in the $80 range...

#13 Bob Hudson

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 12:36 AM

Antique malls should always been approached with caution: expensive overheads usually means hiked up prices for military items, dealers cutting corners and mislabeling items to increase the value. I personally haven't had huge luck with them; I would much rather go to an outdoor flea market.

For example, I found a post-war West German wool coat labeled as "WW1" and priced in the $80 range...


From the Antique Dealer's of America Guide To Pricing and Indentification:

SECTION 32 - Militaria

(A.) Militaria is defined as items including uniforms, hats, helmets, canteens, etc. that were used by military forces including armies and navies.

(B.) If an item of militaria has what appear to be tree leaves printed on it ("camouflage") it was used in the Vietnam War. All other militaria is from "World War II" unless it is very soiled, rusted or has excessive moth holes, in which case it is from "World War I." An exception to this is bugles: all bugles are from the "Civil War."

(C.) To price items such as uniforms you should take the size (i.e. waist size 36) and double that to get the price in dollars. For coats and jackets use the same formula (i.e. a 42 coat size is worth $84) however if the coat or jacket contains any sewn-on cloth patches, you should add $40 to the price. If the coat contains multi-colored pinned on ribbons ("medals"), add $50 to the price. All military hats should be valued at $55. If a hat or uniform has "wings" on it, it should be labeled "Army Air Corps" and the price can be doubled. For non-uniform items, such as canteens, weigh the item and multiply the weight times 15 to get the price.

(D.) As with all Antique Dealer's of America guidelines, failure to follow these pricing guides will result in revocation of ADA membership.


#14 Capt.Confederacy

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 05:37 AM

It always pays to know what you're buying, but this "buyer beware" and "let the buyer decide" attitude of these scumbag dealers just doesn't cut it. If you are peddling garbage and passing it off to be the real deal, you're a fraud. Plain and simple.

I wonder how many other hobbies are affected by this? I couldn't tell you the difference between a $500 Pez dispenser and a brand new one...maybe there's some jerk somewhere getting rich off mass-producing fake Barbie dolls too. Wherever there's a buck to be made, there's a scumbag to scam not far behind!


I agree that while "let the buyer beware" is the first rule of collecting, dealers who sell repro junk as original are frauds and deserve to be treated as such. There's a dealer in WWII era stuff locally who has some pretty decent deals on US stuff but he also stocks a huge bunch of Nazi items of which I'm certain 90% are reproduction and I think he knows they are reproduction. It doesn't stop him, though, from trying to sucker people.

On a related note, this fakery is getting into another hobby of mine (Indian artifacts). It used to be that repro arrowheads and spear points were easy to spot but now that genuine pristine relics are bringing big bucks, the market is being flooded with reworked original pieces as well as out-and-out fake pieces. I might pick up an arrowhead here or there if the price is right but the high-quality fakes have pretty much driven me out of that hobby.

#15 Brig

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 06:00 AM

depends on the mall. we have a series of 3 malls in PA, owned by the same people, that allow all dealers, no matter what they sell as long as it isn't crafts, as long as they pay the month booth rental fee. I've had some luck with them:

Black Rose Antiques
Black Diamond Antiques
Bedford Street Antiques (formerly Albion Point. they've gotten a little classier because when Albion shut down, the former manager opened Bedford Street, and she is a higher quality dealer. I used to work for her at Albion, when I'd haul and load furniture. got first pickings on new stuff though http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif)

and a good shop:
B&J's Antique Barn

#16 dustin

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 11:59 AM

From the Antique Dealer's of America Guide To Pricing and Indentification:

SECTION 32 - Militaria

(A.) Militaria is defined as items including uniforms, hats, helmets, canteens, etc. that were used by military forces including armies and navies.

(B.) If an item of militaria has what appear to be tree leaves printed on it ("camouflage") it was used in the Vietnam War. All other militaria is from "World War II" unless it is very soiled, rusted or has excessive moth holes, in which case it is from "World War I." An exception to this is bugles: all bugles are from the "Civil War."

(C.) To price items such as uniforms you should take the size (i.e. waist size 36) and double that to get the price in dollars. For coats and jackets use the same formula (i.e. a 42 coat size is worth $84) however if the coat or jacket contains any sewn-on cloth patches, you should add $40 to the price. If the coat contains multi-colored pinned on ribbons ("medals"), add $50 to the price. All military hats should be valued at $55. If a hat or uniform has "wings" on it, it should be labeled "Army Air Corps" and the price can be doubled. For non-uniform items, such as canteens, weigh the item and multiply the weight times 15 to get the price.

(D.) As with all Antique Dealer's of America guidelines, failure to follow these pricing guides will result in revocation of ADA membership.

what a bunch of dribble! talk about pricing from the hip but it makes sense though from what pricing I have seen in the past.One inetersting thing is ifthey price like that some items might be over priced while others might be a sweet deal worht many times more

#17 VMI88

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 11:46 AM

One of my funniest antique mall experiences was seeing a "Civil War Canteen -- $25.00". And you know what? It really WAS a Civil War canteen! It was a nice Federal canteen with stopper and most of the sky blue cover remaining. That's about the only time I've ever seen anything identified correctly and still priced cheaply: usually it's the reverse.

By the way, I talked them down to $22.50 on the canteen . . .

Bill

#18 Polygon

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 08:43 PM

From the Antique Dealer's of America Guide To Pricing and Indentification:

SECTION 32 - Militaria

(A.) Militaria is defined as items including uniforms, hats, helmets, canteens, etc. that were used by military forces including armies and navies.

(B.) If an item of militaria has what appear to be tree leaves printed on it ("camouflage") it was used in the Vietnam War. All other militaria is from "World War II" unless it is very soiled, rusted or has excessive moth holes, in which case it is from "World War I." An exception to this is bugles: all bugles are from the "Civil War."

(C.) To price items such as uniforms you should take the size (i.e. waist size 36) and double that to get the price in dollars. For coats and jackets use the same formula (i.e. a 42 coat size is worth $84) however if the coat or jacket contains any sewn-on cloth patches, you should add $40 to the price. If the coat contains multi-colored pinned on ribbons ("medals"), add $50 to the price. All military hats should be valued at $55. If a hat or uniform has "wings" on it, it should be labeled "Army Air Corps" and the price can be doubled. For non-uniform items, such as canteens, weigh the item and multiply the weight times 15 to get the price.

(D.) As with all Antique Dealer's of America guidelines, failure to follow these pricing guides will result in revocation of ADA membership.


Good god, now I understand why I see the things I do at these indoor antique malls. Thanks for posting this excerpt, it really does shed some light into the "ADA mentality."

@VMI88 - Now THAT is incredible!

#19 Gary Cain

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 08:51 PM

The "gentleman" you are referring to is named John. He and his buddy Ed have display cases in antique malls from coast to coast. They seem to specilize in militaria and police badges etc. in the CA and midwest regions, and sports memorabilia in the south. There is a federal investigation into their activities even as we speak. They have been doing it for a LONG time and have ripped off thousands of people.

#20 Gary Cain

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 08:56 PM

As far as Antique malls and or stores are as regards finding stuff, it is my experience that militaria is either vastly overpriced or vastly underpriced, there seems to be no happy middle ground. I found my BB&B paratroopers jump wing at an antique mall for 20 bucks, but in the mall next door was a Bronze Star Citation with an asking price of 1800 bucks! Laughable, but the people have no clue what stuff is really worth and they don't care to learn.


Gary


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