Ed,youre right,nobody wants a lawsuit..im one of the lucky ones actually..i only went to his house once to buy a couple small pieces of ww1 leather equipment,and 2 other times for observation..since then ive donated those 2 pieces to a local legion to go with the display they already have..i figured that way the odds of them going back on the collectors market will be less..so unfortunately i cant show pics but i can give a good description of what to look out for which i will get into.
Mike,fortunately all the older vendors and collectors know these clowns all too well..when the scammers do show up at certain shows they are always segregated to a certain area,usually put side by side..its almost comical now that i know about them..and you can almost sense that quiet uncomfortable feeling from the other vendors at the venue..i was warned after the fact and told all sorts of stories about these guys..one of them got me pretty good and the other guy that makes fakes,well..i didnt confront him about it...instead i went back to his place to have a better look at his crafts..my girlfriend and myself went back there twice actually.
Now lets get into some details;
subject#1-a confidence trickster-dealt with this guy for years,he had a bad rep and i did hear stories but he was always ok with me...until one day...so he claimed to have a line on a collector who had dewats up for trade..trade only,no sales...i heard he had a vickers,which i wanted...but the only thing he would trade it for was second war canadian B.D...since id been dealing with this "go between" for years i didnt think anything much about handing him over a dozen or so of my best so the guy with the vickers could pick the ones he wanted...so i drop them off..a month goes by and no word..then about 2 months later the trickster tells me the guy with the dewats is going thru them to pick his favorites and he would know within the week and get the guy to drop the vickers off at his house..that week went by..nothing back..left messages over a month,still nothing back...now im getting worried and mildly pissed off...so i drive the 3 hours to his house..and hes not there...lingered around the area the better part of the day..he shows up at dark at his house..i pull in behind him..ask for my tunics..he says he doesnt have them..says he got me a ppsh41 from the guy because he wouldnt give the vickers up...offers me "credit" towards the rest of the tunics of mine that he obviously sold...turns out a couple months later i find out that i actually know the guy who the scammer sold the vickers to..by using my tunics to get it....partly my fault for letting my guard down i guess..but none the less a dishonest pile of feces that man is...money is the route of all evil.
And now the forger:a husband and wife elderly combo,this is the guy i had to revisit to see his wares..he will take unmarked leather equipment and stamp them,he will age them too..what date and what maker do you prefer?..i recommend his home made hugh carson stamp,he did a good job on that one..if you find pieces where the stampings are questionable they may be his..look for a C/broad arrow stamp that is tall and skinny..this guy literally makes his own stamps and punches for both imprint on steel and ink on material..some are better copies then others..he has been known to dismantle a mothey first war tunic for the pattern..he got a roll of time period olive drab wool from a place called lens mill store in kitchener many years ago..his wife has an old singer machine with the foot pedal and all sorts of wooden spools of old thread...so the stiching is staggered and uneven,thread dont glow under a black light either...he sells out of his garage,which is divided into 2..part of his workshop is in the second half of the garage..i saw it..he had a phone call while i was there..i peaked into the other side of the garage thru the door..i saw the remaining roll of wool that i was told about sitting on a shelf along with a dissected tunic,the spools of thread,the singer machine,some brodie helmets with added flash in the process of drying and a wack of what looked to be really old paint cans,likely the old lead based stuff..he walked back in the room from using the phone just as i walked out..he looked mad and told me that room is off limits and theres nothing in there for me! then he closed the door to that area rather quickly..i said back "ya it looks pretty empty in there,sorry"..thats what i saw!!...our 3rd and last time there..he had a tunic and 3 battalion marked brodies for sale (surprise,surprise)...my girlfriend asked to use his washroom,she was directed downstairs...on the way home she had told me about the workbench in the basement..with hand made stamps and punches of various sizes of letters and numbers,and the inkwell and fountain pens,even a calligraphy chart pinned to the wall in front of the bench...and a pile of leather field equipment..thats what she saw!!..funny how pretty much all his pieces in the garage area including the british stuff had that funny C/broad arrow mark and all privately named and numbered in ink..even equipment made in birmingham had the weird stamp on it,in several spots on the same piece of equipment,just incase you might have missed it the first time:hmmm: ....anyways..hes known around the south western/toronto area caus hes been at it for a while..but just a warning to all to really know what youre buying and if it looks like fish and smells like fish... its probably fish