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Porcelain Signs
#778094 Tue Jun 07 2022 10:37 AM
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Dtimekw Offline OP
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All,

While reading through posts trying to learn more about porcelain signs I have collected over the past few years, I have more questions than answers, hopefully someone can shed some light.

As an example, I have a Texaco Marine Lubricant sign. I believe it to be porcelain, it is curved and has 4 holes in each corner. It measures 16 1/4" wide by 12 3/4" tall. The same sign I have seen here has the holes located differently, date stamped and the dimensions are different. I believe they were called "pump signs or PPP"??

Biggest question I have is: Is my sign a fake/reproduction? My sign doesn't have a date either. I attached a pic (hopefully).

I appreciate any help.

Troy

Tex_Marine.jpg
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Re: Porcelain Signs
Dtimekw #778095 Tue Jun 07 2022 10:54 AM
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Sorry but it's a fake

Re: Porcelain Signs
Tankar #778096 Tue Jun 07 2022 11:08 AM
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Dang, I appreciate the quick reply.

What makes it a fake so I don't make the same mistake in the future? What should I look for or not look for to be sure next time because I've seen other signs (non Texaco) that look and feel the same as this one unlike the Hobby Lobby flimsy signs.

I sure don't want to collect fakes, no fun frown

Re: Porcelain Signs
Dtimekw #778097 Tue Jun 07 2022 11:27 AM
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Its fake nobody will post whats wrong with it you will need to talk to people

Re: Porcelain Signs
Dtimekw #778098 Tue Jun 07 2022 11:54 AM
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Hey Troy…there are a whole lot of “reasons” that some signs are fake. The older signs often used heavier base metal. The process for making porcelain signs are one color laid over another each fired separately. You can rub your fingers over the levels of enamel referred to as “shelving”. Many fakes don’t have that. Each original sign had a size. Many fakes are produced not true to the original size. I would refer you to some excellent books to read up on the porcelain sign manufacturing process and background on the different signage. I have attached photos of three that are excellent and other members can recommend others. There are a lot of fakes out there and we have all been duped sometime. I hope that helps.
Steve

1A45EE9E-0C02-420C-B740-3B4532710A2F.jpeg7047EBA9-52CE-4CFC-A0EB-FA00FB97F2E2.jpeg9D2F27CD-A588-4702-AB0D-5669CCC3651A.jpeg
Re: Porcelain Signs
Dtimekw #778103 Tue Jun 07 2022 03:27 PM
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It's nearly impossible to give you a full list of reasons why that one's fake. It's kind of like the Supreme Court and porn...we know it when we see it. I'm about 80% at spotting fakes off of pictures...maybe closer to 95% if I can hold the sign in person. But I'm still not perfect. This is after nearly 30 years of experience. Buy from reputable sellers (many are on this site) and do your best to educate yourself using the tools/books listed above. Stay away from ebay; nearly all of the porcelain signs on there are fake. Best of luck!

Re: Porcelain Signs
Dtimekw #778104 Tue Jun 07 2022 03:39 PM
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"Stay away from ebay" = good advice.


Looking for photos, etc from 60s era Shell-A-Rama gas station and Pal's Diner, Rt. 17 Mahwah, NJ
& US or state highway signs, shields, route markers
Re: Porcelain Signs
Dtimekw #778108 Tue Jun 07 2022 07:32 PM
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Regards, Jim

I collect gas pump salt and pepper shakers
and the plastic coin banks made by AVSCO.
Re: Porcelain Signs
Dtimekw #778115 Wed Jun 08 2022 06:42 AM
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ROD [Mich.]
Re: Porcelain Signs
Dtimekw #778119 Wed Jun 08 2022 10:55 AM
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Thank you for all of your input and advice!! I will certainly read up on this more. I am not too upset about buying a fake but really want to learn more about the old petroliana. I have a humble collection of oil cans, tube repair kits etc... They collect dust on a display shelf in the garage but I enjoy the looks on peoples faces when they come by.

Thank you again for all of your help!!

Troy

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Re: Porcelain Signs
Dtimekw #778146 Thu Jun 09 2022 04:16 PM
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Troy, I’m like you. To me it’s a hobby, not a business. I get plastic signs. I make a lot of stuff too. Just for fun for me. I’m in my early 60’s & collect what I grew up with. Never saw visible & clock pumps at stations. To each his own.

Re: Porcelain Signs
Dtimekw #778249 Tue Jun 14 2022 03:26 PM
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So that particular sign shows up a lot at flea markets here in west Michigan. You usually see them in a group with two different Gulf signs and maybe a Shell or Mobil. The fact that they are all the same size, they all seem to be based on rare signs, and as others have said the shelving is noticabley wrong, and multiple sellers at the same event have them for sale tells the whole story. One guy up here swears up and down they are real and totally with the $900 he's asking. He also uses the aging brick and the peroxide trick on them for added authenticity.

Re: Porcelain Signs
Dtimekw #786888 Fri Jan 27 2023 02:54 PM
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Hello all,
I accidently purchased a fake sign last year at a swap meet in Pleasanton at a Goodguys show/swap meet. I know 100% that the guy had a ton of original stuff, but the piece I bought was not vintage...and I should have noticed that the logo colors were reversed from the norm. It was distressed (chipped and rusted) and looked the part. So that's on me for not paying attention. I won't make that mistake on the color swap ever again (brands would NEVER let their logos be printed incorrectly). If he had told me that it wasn't an original, I would have bought my second pick sign that was actually a real vintage sign. He's in the picker business, so I know he knew it wasn't vintage. I take away that I only spent $80 on a good lesson learned. Money well spent.

In the image DTimeKW (the originator of this thread) posted, my take is the reflection showed that the surface is smooth...when it should have shown a little bit of a ridge where the layers are fired separately. It also doesn't have steel rivets around the mounting holes to reduce chipping the porcelain when mounting it.

The thing that stands out to me is the intricate fine lines of detail, like the thin black outlines on the birds and boats. I could be wrong, but I don't know if the old porcelain signs were made with that much intricate detail. It seems like those fine lines would be very hard to produce in porcelain with past processes.

Re: Porcelain Signs
Dtimekw #786961 Sat Jan 28 2023 08:29 PM
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IMPORTANT PLEASE READ……..

I have been a collector for a long long time, and I would like to make something clear to everyone (as a learning experience).

Real signs can have shelving or no shelving. Period

Fake signs can have shelving or no shelving. Period

Shelving does NOT validate a sign’s authenticity.

What does help is knowing which signs should have shelving and which ones shouldn’t. It also depends on age sometimes. There are numerous real porcelain pump plates that have almost no shelving at all. There are also numerous fakes that have shelving when their real life counterparts didn’t. There are also numerous fakes that don’t have shelving when the real versions did. (some real Sinclair, Pure and Texaco PPP’s for example have almost no shelving at all. Some fake Coca Cola signs have serious shelving)

I am speaking from years of experience. I am not claiming to know the authenticity of all signs, as India is producing them by the hundreds or thousands each day. But one thing I can tell you is that shelving, wether present or not, doesn’t mean squat, unless you know what sign your dealing with and what the original should be.

Regards,
Steve

Last edited by Speedracer; Sat Jan 28 2023 08:30 PM.

-Steve B. (WTB: 48" Flying A button, 48" black/org Phillips 66, White Star, and Chevrolet Signs. Also looking for a Wayne 866. Send a PM. Thanks.)
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Re: Porcelain Signs
Dtimekw #786991 Sun Jan 29 2023 02:57 PM
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Right on Steve

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