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Old 07-20-2008, 07:59 AM
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Default Lesson Learned

Posted By: Mike H

Hello All,

Last month I posted a photo of an antiques show find. You may recall this Negro League All Star pennant.

[IMG][/IMG]

I was quite pleased with my purchase from a long time dealer at my local show. Good price, rare item, exciting find. As it turns out, a little too exciting. The pennant is a reproduction.

In my over zealous state of mind I failed to look closely, consider all variables, and make comparisons. You know how it goes when the blood is pumping and you are in a hurry to hit the next six buildings full of treasures.

Thanks to our good friend Mark Steinberg and his vast knowledge of pennants, my mistake was discovered, I received an education, and the pennant has been returned.

This was an extremely well made and attractive reproduction, but a reproduction none the less. In an effort to prevent others from making a similar mistake, I am posting Mark's comments from an email, with his permission of course.

Thank you to Mark for the education and sharing of knowledge.
__________________________________________________ ______________________

For future reference here are a couple of things to watch out for with pennants...

1. Felt density... although the felt is nice and soft on the East/West, it is thinner and less substantial than vintage felt. It should have a grainier texture as well... it's too smooth, and is identical to all of those M&N repros you see all the time. Also, vintage felt has little variances of color within the felt... almost lilike little speckles or grains when you look closely. This one is just a flat red with none of the subtle color variances.


2. Felt strip... A bit too narrow for the time period (1940s). Also it is stark white. Even if this was sitting untouched in a safe deposit box for the last 60 years, it would have aged. I don't think that bright white was even used in that era... it was of a creamier tone. I have never seen a pennant even dating to the 1960s, with such a stark whiteness.


3. Stitching... Two problems here... one is the simple single stitch that runs nearly the full length of the felt strip. These were normally double-threaded. Also, there is an additional thread reinforcement at either end (top and bottom). Look closely and you'll see it... at the top and bottom 3/4 inch or so. This was NEVER executed on pennants of that vintage.


4. Tassels... Too wide for the time period, and with the same "modern" felt issues as for the body of the pennant.


5. Graphics...

* The large star has perfectly straight lines, where they should be slightly curved lines.

* The smaller stars are too big in relation to the other graphics

* The lettering saying "All Star" is similar, but in a different font (look closely)

* The painted graphics have absolutely no sign of any cracking, puckering, crazing, or other typical aging. Again... even if this pennant sat idle and untaouched for the last 60 years (which is highly unlikely), it would have some natural aging and subtle signs of wear.

I hope this is helpful.... anytime you see an older piece of this vintage that's in magnificent condition, be sure to look extra closely for these and other subtle details. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is... "If it looks too good to be true, it probably is". Dick Dobbins preached this one repeatedly before he passed away...




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Old 07-20-2008, 10:00 AM
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Default Lesson Learned

Posted By: leon

I make mistakes all of the time. Most of the times my mistakes are fairly small too...when I spend a (relative) bunch of money I am more careful.

Mark- thanks for the lesson in felts.......it's always appreciated.

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