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Vintage Advertising Signs How to Tell If It is a Reproduction

B. Yates

Visitors: 176

There are several ways to tell if you have a genuinely antique vintage sign.

-The letters are not perfect.   No two signs are exactly the same.   If its perfect, it was done with a computer and If there are more than one sign exactly alike, they weren't lettered by hand.

-On hand lettered signs you can see the brush strokes.   They have a slightly raised and uneven feel because of the paint.

-They are a standard size. Sign makers were practical using  4 ft. x 8 ft. sheets, to 4 ft  x 4 ft, 2 ft x 4 ft, 18 in x 24 in, 12 in x 9 in, etc. Full size show cards and poster boards are usually 28" x 44", so most show card will be cut down from that, in sizes such as 22" x 28", 14" x 28", and 11" x 14" sizes. Paper sizes 8 1/2 x 11 signs were not standard then.

-They have aged naturally.   Genuinely old signs do not fade evenly.

-The materials used were common to that time period.   Old “metal" signs were steel.   Steel will rust.   A magnet will stick to them. Newer “metal" signs are usually a baked-on enamel  aluminum. They don't rust, and have no magnetic charge.

Ask yourself if it makes sense.   A porcelain sign probably would not have a price shown because those signs were expensive and prices change.  

It would not make sense if the edges were rusty and the rest of the sign looked new.   A porcelain sign will show rust in any spot where the porcelain has chipped off and the steel was exposed.

I enjoy collecting. Take a look here for vintage signs in all categories:


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