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42" Fish Tail Sign: NOS or just BS?

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cokekid's loves4 of 4Vintage Gear Lube Dispenser...Pennzoil SAE 90 48 " Coca Cola Porcelain Button Sign
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    Posted 13 years ago

    (152 items)

    OK, I've shown a couple signs I felt good about purchasing. Time to put one out there, obtained early on in my decoration project, that I'm not so sure about. 42" Coca-Cola Arciform logo sign, excellent condition, marked "Reg. U.S. Pat. Off" and "AM20". Paid $549 + $30 shipping on a "buy it now" deal. (This was before I had Petretti's 12th, which lists a similar 24" version dating to 60's valued at $400.) The seller claimed the sign had been in the original box but the box had disintegrated from age. Which I thought was a line, until I unpacked the sign and found it still had a solid expandable polystyrene foam piece which formed perfectly within the back side of the sign, making it look brand-spanking-new. The quality of the sign print is a little fuzzy in places, not crisp like other signs. This got me thinking, maybe a second or reproduction? The thing is in fabulous, unused condition. It looks great and I'm happy with it, no matter if I find out that the metal was mined in Siberia then hammered into form and painted by imprisoned Chinese dissidents... well maybe that would bother me. But questions are nagging in the back of my mind. Now there's one EXACTLY like it on eBay, right down to the AM20 mark (see link below). I mean, what are the chances? I welcome your comments and any light you can shed. Thanks.

    p.s. The recent eBay item sold for $685, which for some reason makes me feel a little better.

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    1. earlycoke earlycoke, 13 years ago
      I have been doing this since 1975 and outdoor signs scare me. I collect the early items, and have researched how it was manufactured, so I rarely get duped. But with so many good metal sign knockoffs and authorized reproductions out there, it seems like a very confusing time to be putting a collection of these type of items together! About all I know is that Yone has to remember that these signs were silkscreened by hand, and as a screen gets used a lot, it can get a little sloppy around the edges. So while that would worry me too, it is not a definite tell tale sign of a fake. Also remember that a lot of the fishtale stuff showed up as plants were sold in the 70's and 80's so there are a lot of really good condition 60's items out there. So condition isnt a tell tale sign either. And near mint/mint fishtale stuff seems to be in high demand right now. Maybe a hardcore sign expert could chime in here and enlighten us a little more.
    2. Daddy_Nobucks Daddy_Nobucks, 13 years ago
      It has been confusing, especially in the beginning. Buying Petretti's book was the best piece of advice I received. And finding this web site, getting a chance to communicate with folks like you, has really made a difference for me. I now try to stick to signs which are documented in the book or just flat out have the authentic feel. I aways worried about this one. Thanks so much for your assessment, makes very much sense. You're kind to share your experience with everybody.
    3. Daddy_Nobucks Daddy_Nobucks, 13 years ago
      Thanks Ray. I wouldn't buy it today for that price either! Thanks for sharing your experience, good stuff.
    4. Daddy_Nobucks Daddy_Nobucks, 12 years ago
      thanks Bellin68! Wow, it's fun to go back and read old posts. I was such a Coca-Cola baby, just learning to crawl, a year ago. Now I'm a noisy toddler!!! :)

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