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Trade Goods Reproductions & Fakes

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  • Trade Goods Reproductions & Fakes


    Mark Miller has an excellent website on trade axes and tomahawks which contains detailed information and great pictures on how to spot fakes and reproductions. The quote from the introduction:

    Much of a tomahawk's value hinges on the 'degree of confidence' buyers have in its' authenticity. The more people that believe it is original - the more people that want to buy it. Fortunately for us original collectors, many reproductions of tomahawks/trade axes are not identical or often even remotely similar to their originals in shape, construction or styles. But be aware that what is listed here is only a small sampling of what to watch out for! Some are cast from originals with rust & alterations added. And some are REALLY good at adding patina & aged looking hafts. Tomahawk heads by themselves are even more difficult to analyse without the haft clues to assist. I've had some people tell me 'oh, they wouldn't go to that much trouble to fake it' - which is exactly what fakers are hoping you'll say. Some fake them purely for the fun of fooling others, or more often for big profit. There is no measure too extreme that fakers will not use. There are organizations devoted to creating tomahawks and other frontier items that appear old, most of which are not marked by their contemporary makers. Many of these have been resold over the years in estate sales and auctions for sale as originals.

    Part 1 is here (navigate to the subsequent parts from the menu hotlinks to the left):

    … and a few more insight here in the section on Wild West fakes etc:

    Mark has also provided an ebay buyer’s guide here:
    Last edited by painshill; 01-27-2016, 11:23 AM.
    I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.