Beware a man with brown shoes
Sharing a recent experience of ours re a little known fake of a rare item in the market place.
How easy is is to be caught out ; as a dealer or a collector, we are all aware of that rush of adrenaline when offered a rare piece! How wonderful it is at last to feast your eyes on that rarely seen truck or car – what a find! It is at moments like these that your heart can rule your head, but take a moment, check your source, try and find out as much as you can, take time to really examine that gift horse and walk away if you are in any doubt!
All great advice, and easy to give, not always easy to follow though.
Just recently, we were offered a rare Dinky model – Dinky 948 Tractor Trailer McLean, the ‘BROWN SHOES’ version, by an unsuspecting collector-friend of ours. He bought it in good faith (and this is where the water can often get muddied), and had no reason whatsoever to suspect it was a fake.
However, with a little detective work Sherlock Holmes-style by an interested collector who had also unwittingly purchased a Brown Shoes model relatively recently, the evidence was extremely compelling and in fact, incontrovertible!
It is a general rule of thumb, that you should always be wary of a model whose sole claim to fame (i.e. what makes it rare) are the transfers or labels. This is true in the case of the Brown Shoes’ model since it starts life as a relatively common ‘McLeans’ model in red and grey – and is ‘transformed’ into a valuable rarity by the ‘Brown Shoes’ labels. What a temptation for a faker!
The label on a bogus ‘Brown Shoes’ model was examined by a printing expert and he revealed the chilling truth. Here are the labels from a bogus Brown Shoes model:
And here is a picture of the real thing:
The print expert finds:
“You can see that I have keyed out the text using the window system font Arial – please note that my text is yellow and the “original” text is white – they are an identical match – (perfectly identical – not “nearly” or “almost” but exactly precisely the same). Arial is a descendent of older metal typefaces like monotype grotesque and helvetica. However the problem is that Arial was not designed until 1982 – for use with IBM computer printers and nearly twenty years later than the dinky model ought to have been produced."
Sobering news then, and the saying ‘Forewarned is forearmed’ is surely true in this case