FAKES and Fantasy Tokens, Medals, Exonumia.
The following pieces have been offered on the internet or elsewhere, and are either outright FAKES or are FANTASY items.
A fake is a counterfeit, generally a cast or struck copy of a genuine original. Some deceptive fakes of original Slave Tags have been made with new dies. It is against Federal law to make fakes or counterfeits of original items. A number of coins, tokens and medals have been faked. Many coins have been faked by creating copy-dies.
A fantasy is a piece that never existed years ago and implies it is old. Most fantasy pieces sound too good to be true, and generally are! I have also listed some suspect pieces that I highly doubt are original items, but I must see to be able to determine (they are listed as doubtful). Fantasy pieces can be struck, cast or engraved. A number of fantasy pieces have been created by crooks creating a new piece from legitimate manufacturers, with good quality die work and design. Just because it looks good does not mean it is, and just because it looks shoddy it does not mean it isn't genuine!
A few years ago, I was offered fake and fantasy Slave Tags and other tokens, by the original maker! I purchased some of his modern samples, and he offered to make them to order. This maker has since made a number of cast copies and fantasy items. The federal law is very hard on fakes, but not on fantasy items, so most of his recent output appears to be fantasy items. If it is fully hand engraved, BEWARE! His products are listed here as "by Mr. X", and he is currently selling on eBay.
So, who am I to make these statements? Besides buying over 3 million tokens and medals, and being a long term Board of Governors of CSNS, TAMS, CWTS, etc., I have examined hundreds of fakes and fantasy items. Also, EACH item here has also been examined by at least two other experts. If you know of others, please let me know.
FANTASY and Fake Slave Tags:
The only genuine Slave Tags are from Charleston and Charleston Neck. All but one genuine Charleston Tags are struck from dies. See my more complete information on Slave Tags, with fake and fantasy pieces pictured.
Bawdy House - Whore House Tokens - FANTASY:
These cute tokens are ALL fantasy items. There NEVER were any original pieces of this style, despite the existence of a book on these (created solely to sell more tokens!). Most are silver-dollar sized, most are uniface, with incuse letters, "Good For All Night", "$3.00 Screw", etc. For a full write-up, read this.
Ku Klux Klan Items:
Recently a number of cast counterfeit tokens have appeared. Some of these are sold as fakes, some are not. For reference, see the Birdsell book on KKK Tokens. In addition, a number of knives have appeared, some listed as modern fantasies, others with minimal information.
"KKK" struck dollar-sized tokens such as "Convention of the Order May 11, 1907 Ku Klux Klan Bristol, Tenn.", are modern pieces, listed as such by Birdsell. They have been around since ca. 1975.
1865 KKK fob on fake Silver Half Dollar - Appears to be fully hand engraved on a coin, but the coin is fake, bold "KKK" center. A recent Fantasy piece. Named to Nathan Bedford Forrest, or John B Lester.
SILVER KKK 1867 MEMBERSHIP BADGE A Fantasy piece, absolutely NO originals exist! Recently seen in quantity (1997-9). This has been seen both with stamped and engraved dates. KKK Breast Pinback Badge Engraved Date
1868 KKK MEMBER MEDAL-ALABAMA A Fantasy piece, engraved by Mr. X.
1868 Alabama Ku Klux Klan Token Another example of the same piece.
1896 KKK Medal: Tuscaloosa, AL A Fantasy piece, engraved by Mr. X.
1907 KKK Convention Medal, Bristol, TN A struck fantasy token, first seen maybe 20 years ago, and listed by Birdsell as a fantasty.
1916 KKK Vigilant Token Fully hand-engraved fantasy token, by Mr. X.
1923 KKK MEDAL-REALM OF MISSISSIPPI A Fantasy piece.
1946 KKK Belt Buckle A Fantasy piece, by Mr. X..
KKK Belt Buckle A Fantasy piece, by Mr. X..
A knowledgeable dealer has informed me that original KKK knives do exist. However, the vast majority of knives seen on eBay and elsewhere are modern fantasy knives (no originals). A number of obviously modern pieces have shown up recently, most identified as being new.
KKK POCKET KNIFE w/White handle Listed as new, which it is!
KKK Lockback Knife A modern fantasy knife.
KKK Invisible Empire Lockback Knife A modern fantasy knife.
KKK Taylor Cutlery 1980 Knife A modern fantasy knife.
KKK Kaufmann & Sons Knife A modern fantasy knife.
Tokens, Medals, Bars:
1893 Wells Fargo Bar A modern fantasy bar, somewhat like original silver bars, but this one is not silver.
J. Parson's & Co - Assayers Bar - 1883 A modern fantasy bar, as above
Railroad Cord-Wood Token A modern fantasy token, stamped on aluminum disk.
L.A. Stamp: ALL tokens marked such are modern fantasy items. The genuine issues of the Los Angeles Rubber Stamp Company were marked "L.A. Rub. Stamp Co.", "L.A. Rub. Stp.Co." or similar.
Central Cl.Co/Cary/Ky - Fantasy coal token. Reverse: Good For /5 cents/Trade.
G.A.R. and Civil War-Era Pieces:
Western Atlantic R.R. - Confederate States of America - Fantasy Badge.
Andersonville Prison - Confederate States - Fantasy Badge.
Southern Cross of Honor - With reverse push-pins! Modern fake.
1862 The Victorious Confederate - M. E. Woodward 5c in trade. A fantasy trade token, struck on one side, hand engraved on the other. I suspect this is a genuine old "M.E. Woodward" maverick token that has been engraved on the reverse.
Western Atlantic R.R. Badge. Neat badge, ca. 52x63mm, with old train engine to left, "Confederate States of America" below, heavy reverse pin.. A total fantasy, first seen ca. 1/1999.
C.S.A. Hand-Engraved Identity Tags (Pender Disks):
Usually on the reverse of a counterfeit coin-like imitation of a silver dollar or half-dollar, "C.S.A." on bottom, name above around top. Please note comment on size on Pender disk; these are the WRONG size, and are fully counterfeit, fully made-up items, that appear to be on on US coins. There is now a booklet on these: Fake Confederate ID Disks. Seen to date:
Fantasy: Dorsey Pender (also said to be Dorsey Peracler): Listed as a fantasy in "The Bogus Corner", North South Trader, and in TAMS, Vol. 39, #2. On a counterfeit 1860-O silver dollar. "Lt. Col Dorsey Pender/CSA/1st North Carolina Regiment". NOTE: Closer inspection of one of these reveals the host item is a fully counterfeit piece sized between a silver dollar and half-dollar.
Fantasy: Washington: listed in a recent catalog as follows: M2131..CIVIL WAR ERA CONFEDERATE IDENTITY TAG ENGRAVED 1862 50 CENT PIECE: 30 mm diameter. silver 50 cent piece. Has hole punched at 12 o'clock on obverse & rim delicately engraved to "Lt. James B. Washington" --bold "C.S.A." at 6 o'clock. Shows wear & age--slightly cupped to the obverse side. III+......$300.00
Fantasy: Vairin: "Vairin" listed in a recent catalog as follows: M2130..CIVIL WAR ERA CONFEDERATE IDENTITY TAG ENGRAVED 1861 50 CENT PIECE: 30 mm diameter. silver 50 cent piece w/"O" mint mark for New Orleans. Has hole punched at 12 o'clock on obverse & rim delicately engraved to man in the Mississippi volunteers --bold "C.S.A." at 6 o'clock. Shows wear & age. III+......$300.00 Fantasy: A. L. P Vairin: Second Mississippi vol. C. S. A. Another example of the above fantasy piece, but appears to be a different specimen. Same name, same layout, different coin. Hmmm, what do you think?
Fantasy: Robert F. Bunting: 1862-S Half-Dollar, engraved "Robert F. Bunting/C.S.A./8th Texas Cavalry". Same script and style as the other fantasy pieces! Bunting was the chaplain for Terry's Texas Rangers. Two specimens seen. A third specimen reported in an antique store in Fort Collins, CO. Fourth specimen on eBay.
Fantasy: Joseph Mayo: 1860-O counterfeit silver dollar, engraved "Col. Joseph Mayo Jr. /C.S.A./3rd Va. Inf." on obv. Two different specimens seen (TAMS Vol. 39#2). Mayo was in the Virginia 3rd under General Pickett.
Fantasy: As above: Thomas Taylor, William Forrest and Nathan Boone, of the 12th Kentucky Regiment.
Civil War I.D. Tags: Memorial Brass: makes close copies of genuine tags, struck to order with your name. Could easily be confused with genuine pieces.
M.E. Woodward - The Victorious Confederate 1862. Modern fantasy piece made on reverse of old Good For 5 c In Trade token.
Fort Wagner/South Carolina/1863/Confederate States/of America // Post Exchange / 2 1/2c/CSA. Fantasy
Annihilation to Traitors/1862/The Union/2 1/2c /It Must and Shall be Preserved. Fantasy
God Bless Our President/Abraham Lincoln/1864 (13 stars around inscription)// 2 1/2c. Fantasy
BEAVER CREEK FUR TRADING HOUSE 1862 DAKOTA TERRITORY . ifak302a/b
Good For 25c In Trade/Peanut Dpet./Willis & Welch, Chatanika, Alaska. Round pictorial pocket mirror. This rare mirror has been photocopied, crudely hand-tinted and put together with an old mirror. No value as a fake.
Fake and Fantasy Police Badges, Etc.
"Plantation Police Georgetown County South Carolina Runaway Slave Patrol". Obvious fantasy.
Offered as copies, but not believed to be marked as such.
The Pine Ridge 7: Lawman Badges, old-west badges, police badges, spurs, carbines, revolvers, pocket pistols, bullwhips, branding irons, watch fobs, spur straps, hand cuffs, leg irons, brothel tokens, gun mounts, sword mounts, pocket knives, Police shields, Movie badges, key chains, W.W.II daggers, Nazi military daggers, miniature knives & sabers, peace pipes, restraints. Large quantity of fakes/copies.
Pieces of History Fake and fantasy old-west badges, police badges, plus lots of books on military history, and probably genuine military badges mixed in with the fakes.
The Baird Company Replica and fantasy law enforcement badges and other stuff. Sells so-called authentic badges that are total fake/fantasy pieces. Out of business 2015. Georgetown County Plantation Police 1858 Runaway Slave Patrol badge: total crap.
Fake and Fantasy Tokens and Medals
1858 Cheyennne Hotel Old West Bordello Token. Sold by mul298qdz Chet Mulka, seller of all sorts of hand-engraved fake and fantasy items on eBay. He offered to sell me fake Slave Tags to my order, on his letterhead.
Other Fake and Fantasy Items
The following items are known fake or fantasy items.
The late Gary Wakefield made a number of fake/fantasy items, for sale in his shop in Reno, NV. All his brass items were made in Mexico to his order:
Goldfield Hotel Spittoons and Bed Warmers: ALL are Wakefield Specials, although he sold them as reproductions out of his shop in Reno. There were NO originals, they are fantasy items.. Brass. For example: Large copper and brass pan has a long wood handle, 11" in diameter and 2" in depth . The handle is made of wood with brass accents. Written on the cover of the pan is Goldfield Hotel/ Goldfield, Nevada. pic
Goldfield Hotel Oil Lamp: Burner marked Kosmos Brenner, with plate at base: Goldfield Hotel, Goldfield Nevada. Brass, about 17" tall, another type is shorter. ALL are modern fantasy pieces.
Goldfield Hotel Toilet Paper Holder: Another modern fantasy item. Also seen: Goldfield
Hotel Desk Bell
Goldfield Hotel Web page.
Framed so called page out of the Carson City Prison book with a dozen photos of prisoners listing what they were in for. Made up by Wakefield. Sold on eBay for over $300. More junk of zero value.
Pony Express Chewing Tobacco Cut Plug Brass Spittoon, Property of the Pony Express San Francisco Division brass spittoon, Union Pacific R.R. "Train" spitton, Redskin Brand Chewing Tobacco "Indian" spitton. All offered as fantasy pieces by A.A. Importing, ca. 1970. Others exist, all of a similar style, all are modern junk of zero value.
Links to other sites on Fakes, Fantasy and Counterfeit Items.
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