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Questions about stampings on a Collins Legitimus

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by lmalterna, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. lmalterna

    lmalterna Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 12, 2002
    First I apologize and axe in enroute and I am not able to take new photos. I have never seen a Legitimus so marked and would really appreciate any info I can get. I looked up history of Abercrombies and it seems to have started in 1892 and Fitch's name started joining in 1904- possibly dating this axe.

    This is a boys axe and appears to be in very good condition from pics.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Thanks in advance,
    Bill
     
    Yankee Josh likes this.
  2. nickzdon

    nickzdon

    398
    Mar 3, 2011
    Very interesting. I think there might be a nice little story here. There were many counterfeiters of Collins that used the Collins name. The typeface and orientation of your "COLLINS CAST STEEL HARTFORD WARRANTED" is similar to one of these known imitators. So my verdict is that it's not an authentic Collins. HOWEVER, it bears a Legitimus crown stamp over the top. My guess is that this imitation axe was made before Collins created the Legitimus trademark in 1875, and in an effort to still pass it off as a legit Collins once the Legitimus crown was introduced, someone stamped it right over the top. The mushrooming on the poll is filed down and you can't really see the arm and hammer in the crown (if there was one)

    I'm guessing that 'Abercrombie's' on the backside refers to Abercombie and Fitch. I cross referenced a reprint of Abercrombie and Fitch's 1903 catalog and it does indeed include Collins axes labeled as "Collins & Co. Hartford". However Collins would have been known by The Collins Company by that time, BUT some of their labels and stampings probably would have carried the Collins & Co. mark.

    Is this Gospel? No.
    Am I cobbling this together from various sources? Yes.
    Am I filling in some of the gaps? Yes.
    Is this why I love vintage axes? Yes!

    I'm happy to hear other theories as well!

    Most of my info is from the Collins book that Tom Lamond wrote. He's also got a great Arm and Hammer marking article in an old copy of the Grist Mill which I'll try and dig up.
     
  3. lmalterna

    lmalterna Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 12, 2002
    Whoa... that is disappointing. I thought I had a gem coming, oh well we will see. I l0ve seeing the variety of old axes, especially these intermediate or boys axes.

    Thanks,
    Bill
     
  4. nickzdon

    nickzdon

    398
    Mar 3, 2011
    Actually, I've seen more of the authentic Collins Legitimuses than the imitators. I think this is a really interesting piece for the story alone. If you ever want to part with it I'd be interested.
     
  5. Square_peg

    Square_peg Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    Notice there's no arm sticking up through the crown like there is on a typical Legitmus stamp?


    I'd like to see that. I have an old Arm & Hammer anvil which I'm quite fond of. It's top quality.
     
  6. Operator1975

    Operator1975 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Sep 24, 2010
    This is real interesting. Most fake Collins stampings I have ever seen are Colins, or using a first initial. Seems like a lot of info on there for a fake but could be. Also with it stamped as Abercrombie on the other side I would assume a fake manufacturer making axes for another company would be almost impossible but I guess could happen. Hence why old axes and their tapes are fascinating.
     
  7. Grem89

    Grem89

    4
    Jun 12, 2015
    I think I have a similar fake [​IMG]
     
  8. C&Co. Legitimus

    C&Co. Legitimus

    50
    Jul 12, 2018
    I think your axe is the real thing.
     
  9. grafton

    grafton

    479
    Aug 28, 2010
    Me too. It’s also not Abercrombie & Fitch. “Abercrombie’s Camp” is the trade mark of the David T. Abercrombie Co. which was in operation from around 1908 through the early 1960s.

    My best guess at dating this axe would be in the neighborhood of WW1-1920s.

    I think some folks are not used to seeing these older Collins marks and have heard about Collins forgeries so they assume that these must be fakes. I haven’t seen any real evidence to make me believe this axe or others with the same markings are fakes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
  10. droppoint1

    droppoint1

    165
    Nov 16, 2009
    -
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
    Square_peg and junkenstien like this.
  11. grafton

    grafton

    479
    Aug 28, 2010
    I don’t argue that there weren’t fakes and it doesn’t make any difference to me which ones are or aren’t the real thing. I just haven’t seen a clear description with good photographs that would act as a usable guide to determine exactly what is what when it comes to a particular axe. None of the provided links helps much with that either.

    Don’t forget about the brilliant guesses like these..,

    “Or maybe some Chinese company copied a Maine wedge pattern out of junk steel and put a fake stamp on it.” :rolleyes:

    I looked over the sources you posted which I have seen before but I cant find the information regarding the skinnier spikes on the crown. I’m with you that the crown looks different and thus questionable but exactly how do we know that it was never used by Collins?

    My position is simply that the burden of proof is on those claiming it is a fake. Until I know for sure I can only assume it isn’t.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
  12. Yankee Josh

    Yankee Josh Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    I have a legitimus I've been wondering about. Mainly because the stamp is on the opposite side of the axe than it usually is. It's a Dayton and a fairly big one. Chips out of heel and toe but the price was right. What do you all think? [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The bit wasn't the hardest steel I've ever sharpened but it wasn't soft by any means. Just figured I'd add my two cents to the discussion.
     
    Square_peg likes this.
  13. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    [​IMG]


    FWIW, that stamp looks similar to the one shown in this advertisement from 1936:

    [​IMG]
     
    Yankee Josh likes this.
  14. Yankee Josh

    Yankee Josh Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    Thanks for that. I agree it does look almost exactly the same! But every other legitimus I've seen the stamp has been on the " left" side of the axe and this one is on the right. Do you think that was just a mistake? It got stamped on the wrong side? That's what had me thinking it may be counterfeit.
     
  15. droppoint1

    droppoint1

    165
    Nov 16, 2009
    -
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
  16. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    Examples of PLUMB axes can be readily found with the stamp on one side or the other, but I started looking at other examples of "THE COLLINS CO." stamps and (so far) they do seem to be on the one side only (with "THE" closest to the toe). Maybe it was the result of a careless employee putting the piece in the machine the "wrong" (non standard) way. I'm guessing this is more likely than it being a counterfeit, but YGIAGAM (your guess is as good as mine).
     
    Yankee Josh likes this.
  17. Yankee Josh

    Yankee Josh Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    I had noticed the same thing. Every legitimus i saw was stamped(or etched) opposite of mine. In every other sense it seems, no pun intended, legitimate.
     
  18. Kyle363

    Kyle363 Gold Member Gold Member

    144
    Dec 11, 2016
    I have a hewing hatchet with many over lapping stamps. I now need to look more closely at it.
     
    Yankee Josh likes this.
  19. grafton

    grafton

    479
    Aug 28, 2010
    I am in agreement that the skinny individual points of the crown do not match pictures of the variations shown on the Yesteryear tool Collins page. However that page also implies that other variations were used. If those that are shown are not all of the variations, what are the other variations? Until that is known, how do we know the skinny individual leaf/point crown isn’t one of those variations?

    Could it be that a slightly different crown and hammer was being used on axes designated for sale by retailers like A&F and David T Abercrombie Co, axes that would be additionally marked with the retailer logos?

    That same page states that some of the counterfeit makers were copying the Collins marks exactly. If that is true, how can any Collins axe from that time period be determined to be legitimate?

    That is why I err on the side of saying they are legitimate until shown to be otherwise and not the other way around.

    What we need is a fact based collection of images of KNOWN counterfeits and it doesn’t appear that we have it. Until then I guess it doesn’t matter what side you are speculating from.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
  20. grafton

    grafton

    479
    Aug 28, 2010
    Reasonable or intentional ignorance, take your pick...

    The fact that there were several variations of the logo might well indicate that there is a version or two that isn’t well documented. There are so many differences between the arm and hammer within their own literature, labels and markings it’s not a stretch to expect more to show up and it isn’t unreasonable to want to know what all the variations are. To simply discount anything different as a fake seems hasty. I don’t know who is right... and that’s kind of my point.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
    Miller '72 likes this.

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