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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Time to Play Real, Fake, Reprint - 1933 Goudey edition

Mark over at Mark's Ephemera requested some hi-res scans of a real Goudey card because one he just got looked dodgy. Lucky for him, I not only have real Goudeys, but fake ones too. I've been planning this post for months so there's no better time than now. Cards are scanned at 600 DPI, details at 1200 DPI so click for a better look.


Here's Shanty Hogan, this one's real. Note the even wear on edges and corners. The toning and stains on the card are also fairly even. There's a distinct texture to the cardboard as well. Card stock is fairly stout, a small crease wrinkles the card but doesn't break it. The card has a fairly matte finish and is not all that glossy.

Hall of Famer Mel Ott looking sour on a badly faked Goudey card. The color on the card looks oddly faded but the card stock is still much whiter than the real Goudey. Instead of a matte slightly bumpy finish, the card is very smooth with some gloss on it. There are very light scratches all over the card revealing white underneath the ink. The name and copyright look like an overprint on the original card, is the same type of ink on the fake. The wear on the edges is uneven and pushes out the card stock unlike the original where the edges are rounded and smooth. The card stock is slightly but noticeably thinner.


First, let me say that reprints are highly collectible. However, if a dealer tries to pawn one off as an original, or worse, price it as an original, you should always explain to him why he is so very wrong and walk out, never to return. Legitimate reprints usually are printed on obviously different card stock (In this case thinner, white and glossy), are specifically marked as reprints and are slightly different from the originals. This card is 5% larger than original Goudeys, others are slightly smaller or have perforated edges (for example, Dover book reprints).

Here are details from the three cards so you can get a good look at the dots that make up the printing on the card.




I'm not an expert on printing methods, but I can tell that the top one looks different than the bottom two. There's a name for that circular pattern on the bottom two, anyone remember what it is?


Like the front, this card has fairly even wear and toning to the card. There are a few smudges and creases, but overall everything is even. The wear is rounded and smooth, almost soft. The small amount of gloss on the back is about the same as the gloss on the front. The text I'll get to in a minute.


This one is really splotchy and messy as if someone stained it with tea or coffee to age it. The edges are pushed up as if someone rubbed the edge on a corner of a table or desk to wear it down. While the front is glossy, the back is extremely matte with zero gloss whatsoever.


This is as obvious as you can get for a "this is a reprint" disclaimer. Reprint sets that also reproduce the original back text will put REPRINT in bold letters somewhere on the back, usually underneath the copyright text.

Here's details of the actual text. This is a dead giveaway.


 Letters are bold, unbroken and very readable. The text is solid ink.


The text is broken, faded and muddled. It may have been printed that way on purpose, been a shoddy reproduction job or the ink simply worn away during the aging process. Occasionally it will have the same dot pattern as the front.

The reprint back is fairly obvious so no hi-res text.

This fakery was bought in a quarter box a while back for a laugh. I thought it was pretty funny when I saw it in there but unfortunately the guy who made it may have honed his skills and created better ones later on. Also a card like this which is obvious in person might not be so obviously fake in an eBay listing especially if the image is a crappy photo. Caveat emptor ALWAYS on vintage expensive cards.

Hope that helps Mark, hopefully you didn't get scammed.


Martin said...

I was just looking at my Dover reprints before I read your blog.

Slangon said...

The first clue that that Mel Ott was fake should've been the fact that they put Jorge Posada's mug on it.

skoormit said...

This post is awesomesauce. Thanks, dayf, for the free clinic on spotting the fakey mcfakersons out there.

Now if we can just get ebay sellers to post their wares at 600 dpi, the world will be safe for democracy.

Hoopography said...

wow, that's some good info. I don't really know too much about these cards aside from the desirability of them. I've always wanted to buy a few, and research the players and their careers as I get the cards. I dont need perfect ones or all-time great players (it would be nice, but my budget really isn't HOF. it's more like hall of shame). Anyways, I do care that they are real, so it's cool to have a reference. Thanks. Cool post!!!

Anonymous said...

"There's a name for that circular pattern on the bottom two, anyone remember what it is?"

It's called a rosette pattern. It's created from the different screen angles of the 4 different inks that comprise color printing (cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks).

esweeks said...

any chance that goudey had a printing error card with Earl Combs?? I have found one with his last name spelled Coombs. Is this a fake or an error card??

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