FAKES, REPRODUCTIONS & FANTASY ITEMS
It could, perhaps, be argued that there is a good reason to pursue Fake, Fantasy or Reproduction items. However, that argument or line of reasoning fails when confronted with the fact and evidence that an similar authentic original item can be sourced, found and acquired for the same, similar slightly less or more cost, if applicable. And, it would seem quite difficult to proudly boast of having a collection of fake or inauthentic items. Such a "come hither" announcement and invitation would most likely fall short with the intended audience.
And, no doubt, over time obtaining the "real deal" gets more difficult and potenially more costly in most situations. Collecting authentic motometer items is generally no different, however, that should not intentionally prompt someone to knowingly acquire inauthentic items to be displayed or passed off as (if) the real thing.
This website was established in large part to assist serious motometer automobilia collectors in acquiring real, authentic items and to preserve the true heritage of these interesting early automotive instruments and devices.
Few people are alive today who can factually claim to have been around or drove a vehicle with these devices during their heyday and with so much of the original documentation about them lost to time, weather and other factors. Even early reproductions may know look like the real thing, especially if authentic items are not available for comparison. Grandpa's old garage parts stash may, unfortunately, not be quite what it seems, as reproductions were around during his day as well.
Perhaps it is of benefit to ardent and serious motometer collectors to know that with a keen eye, some expert insight, a little knowledge, faith and patience that they can still find authentic items at reasonable acquisition costs as good authentic items are out there and they need not settle for less.
It may also be of some comfort for ardent and serious motometer collectors to know that reproduction, fake and fantasy items in this collector niche have primilarly centered around a single product brand, the BOYCE MOTO-METER. Unfortunately that still presents a problem as the most desirable brand to collect for most. So, aspiring motometer collectors need exercise particular caution and good judgement to avoid squandering their resources in belief that something is indeed what it purports to be.
This monthly article series highlights and draws your attention to some of the many more obvious (and/or subtle) fake, reproduction and/or pure fantasy motometer items for your awareness, knowledge and assistance in building a better quality of motometer collection.
Avoiding fakes, reproductions and pure fantasy items will save you money, potential embarrassment and enable you to put your resources to better use in acquiring true authentic original items with less of price or cost.
FANTASY & REPRODUCTIONS MOTOMETER ITEMS
As February 2016 begins, we found it interesting to see fantasy and/or reproduction items listed for sale on a prominent auction website. As fake as these items are rules or governance against posting inauthentic items on that website are lacking at best creating and maintaining a caveat emptor (or, "let the buyer beware") bidding and purchasing environment.
To be fair, as stated above, some sellers may be genuinely unaware that an item is inauthentic and it is always encumbent upon the bidder/purchaser to perform their own diligent research. And, many sellers do try their best to accurately describe and depict their listed items to the best of their ability (and limited research).
However, we thought that we might offer our timely input to the purchasing process for those interested and aptly paying attention to our website and the expert viewpoint expressed in this month's featured article as it could save them money and embarassment if they are ever confronted with th the truth about their item.
While there seems to be no end of potential candidates in the category of Fakes, Reproductions and Fantasy Motometer Items, this February we have decided to focus our attention on only three at this time.
First up is a "Nyberg" logo dialplate BOYCE MOTO-METER most assuredly manufactured in the mid to late 1960s by Harry Pulfer of California and not the Motometer Company of Long Island, N.Y. as seen above and at left.
Nyberg Automobile Works of Anderson, Indiana was a legitimate automobile manufacturer. Only in business between 1912 and 1914, the company was out of business at the time that the Motometer Company began commercial production of basic generaly model type labelled BOYCE MOTO-METERs and period Motometer company records and documents absolutely and incontravertiblly show no production record of a/the Nyberg logo-specific engine temperature indicators manufacturered for them.
The only record of production for such an item comes from a 1960s/70s catalog of reproduction automobilia items - hood ornaments, radiator emblems/badges, pins, key fobs, motometer dial plates and the like published by Harry Pulfer.
To his credit, Harry appears to have been extremely nostalgic about older automobiles and the industry itself, willing to create fantasy items to satisfy his own romanticism and potential needs of then current auto swap meet customers. Harry created a number of items, including dial plates for defunct automobile manufacturers or models that were long removed from operation and production but who's cars may have still been around and their owner's may have petitioned or commissioned Harry to produce custom dial plates for their cars. We do not believe or assert in any way that Harry or his business partner the late William "Bill" Williams intended or made any attempts to fraud or misrepresent any of the items that he/they reproduced, had manufactured, or sold.
At left are photos of a another Nyberg dial plate motometer that recently came onto that same popular auction website for sale. It too is has a fantasy reproduction dial plate exactly like the one above.
The script quality and color on this dial plate appears to be good, though there are no authentic ones for comparison. However, this and these are motometer candidates not likely to find there way into our collection apparent quality nonwithstanding.
As a collector tip, we generally avoid motometers that show (obvious) signs of tampering or alteration from their original factory-issued condition, such as the higher/taller rounded head screws on the reverse side of this second Nyberg market entree (shown at inner left) that do not match that at the lower right edge. In many instances this is or can be a telltale sign that a dial plate, glass crystal or, washer has been replaced or altered. Note: The example immediately at left also exhibits no obvious sign of red indicator fluid in the thermometer tube thus making it currently inoperable - another disqualifying candidate for our purpose(s).
The next fantasy reproduction motometer item presented here for this month is a "GMC" logo dial plate BOYCE MOTO-METER also most assuredly manufactured in the mid to late 1960s by Harry Pulfer of California and not the Motometer Company of Long Island, N.Y. as seen above and at left.
Indeed, there was a GMC truck division of the General Motors Corporation.
Again no legitimate record of such a dial plate having been manufactured by the Motometer Company can or has been found to substantiate it as authentic in any way.
At left a non matching scew can be seen in the upper left quadrant of the gauge's bezel and at the right-lower quadrant position, along with the improperly repositioned temperature scale indicating plate - all things that the ever-quality conscious Motometer Company would do and never did.
At left are page copies from Harry Pulfer's 1960s/70s self-published auto mascot catalog featuring some of his motometer dial plates as proof and evidence of his involvement in commissioning the manufacture of re-productions. Each page is individually selectable for enlargement. Clearly the "Nyberg" name can be seen on the list. However, just because an automobile manufacturer's name is listed on these pages does not mean that it or all are necessarily fantasy items, rather that Harry had them reproduced in China and could make them available for purchase through his business.
Harry Pulfer at one time had access to many of the original artist BOYCE MOTO-METER dial plate design sheetsfrom which he made pencil etching copies.
Motometercentral nor its founders own any of these items.