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I Forge Iron


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  1. Again, thanks for the responses. The following pics are the so called Yellin tools. I would like to hear your comments and thoughts.
  2. Many thanks for the responses. I have collected antique iron for 50+ years and have seen some obvious repos and undoubtedly purchased some. In the case of the Yellin tools, They looked great, were represented by a so called reputable dealer as real. When I offered them for sale, a buyer was dubious, so I spent a lot of time on research I should have done to start with. What convinced me that they were not authentic was the makers mark. It was hard to find a real mark on the web, but after a discussion with Yellin's granddaughter, who immediately said that from the photo I sent, the mark was not his. The authentic mark was his name as a continuous raised name to be stamped into the steel. What was on the tools I bought was the name stamped in one tool as individual letters and not spaced as might be expected. I was able to find some offerings, on the internet, sold at auction and verified by the granddaughter, that showed the mark as it should be. She also said that he marked each tool, not just one. The handles had some inlaid cooper, and he did not work with copper in such a way. Thus an expensive error.
  3. I have been silent for awhile, but now a topic that may be of interest. An antique shop in Riverwoods, IL that represented a piece of iron work that was by Samuel Yellin. Fireplace tools. Marked Samuel Yellin. However when I offered them for sale, some knowledgeable people felt that they were not authentic. After a few months of research, I have come to accept that view. The opinion was based on the maker's mark as not authentic, a conversation with the granddaughter and manager of a Yellin website, and some marks on the iron suggesting machine finish. What experience have other members had with counterfeit iron? The dealer is ignoring me after claiming I didn't know what I was talking about.
  4. All of these comments are very helpful and add to the list of clues to be pursued. Thank you! I have collected for about 45 years. Early on, the need to worry about repros was minimual because prices were low and antique iron was not highly sought. Time, money, and number of collectors has changed the demand side of the equation and the internet has changed the supply part of the equation. I always visit blacksmith shops and galleries when I find them and have never found these artisans to have interest in trying to duplicate an old item for the sake of fooling a collector. I have used a great deal of recent blacksmithed items for their utilitarian use and/or decorative or art value. I have iron railings inside and out, hooks, art, sculpture, all made by local artisans. Those items add to the graphic value of the antique work. I greatly respect the talent to fashion such items from such difficult material as iron and with such large, heavy, robust tools. Thus my interest. Those that are not familar with the Sorber Collection that was auction off by POOK & POOK in the last 2-4 years should look at the book that documents the collection. It is a wonderful reference book.
  5. What we can find is that many of the repros are electric welded. Telling the difference beween electric welding and forge welding is not always easy. Real old iron that has seen a lot of heat(fireplace cooking)over the years will often show stiration. New items made with old methods, or items made in the middle East or Africa for actual use in recent years are much more difficult (some fat or oil lamps)to know if it is made for export or is old or was made by little kids with a punch and hammer. I am looking for those in the business to suggest fine details to look for. Those that copy/make old objects with iron stock purchased today and don't go to the trouble of beating with a hammer are making wonderful articles that are not meant to deceive. I have many such pieces that I have commissioned. I have taken some items to local blacksmiths for their critique and always learn something.
  6. Hello, I am a collector of antique iron-lighting, cooking items, tools, household items. Viewing iron to come to a conclusion of old vs new, domestive vs foreign requires knowledge of use and method of making the item as well as making the stock from which it was made. I am looking for help in understanding the processes and how to determine old from new and antique from new. Thanks Antiqueman
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