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Questions about stampings on a Collins Legitimus

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

  1. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    Thanks for posting all that additional information.

    One point I don't recall being mentioned is that if some counterfeiters were making exact copies of actual Collins stamps, as stated in some publications, then proving that a certain stamp was used by Collins is not really proof against it being copied by the counterfeiters. So it's a kind of Catch-22. If there is no documentation that Collins made a certain stamp, then an axe with that stamp could be a fake or it could be an actual Collins stamp that was used but lacks surviving documentation. On the other hand, if there is some documentation that Collins made a certain stamp, then an axe with this stamp can be real, or it can be an exact copy made by counterfeiters. So it comes down to what's "more likely than not" or "beyond reasonable doubt", and that can be a matter of opinion when other clues are considered.

    That said, the number of fakes is presumably a lot smaller than the number of real Collins axes out there. So I think that, if anything, the fakes (if they are actually found) are perhaps more valuable, due to their rarity and the history behind them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
  2. droppoint1

    droppoint1

    208
    Nov 16, 2009
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    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
  3. grafton

    grafton

    479
    Aug 28, 2010
    The night shift has been busy! great to see these things that many of us have never seen!

    There is an error in the book regarding the diagram of the David T Abercrombie Co. mark. Maybe it’s a counterfeit book :D

    The book shows the die as being Abercrombie Camp and the section heading is titled “Abercrombie Camp marking”

    That’s not the actual logo of the company which is:
    Abercrombie’s Camp with an apostrophe.

    About the only folks who didn’t make the error was the company itself. Believe me after researching this company for many years, that error is extremely common.

    If that apostrophe was overlooked than it’s no surprise to have overlooked the double oval vs the single one shown.

    It’s not the only error in that section. A&F wasn’t founded by one of David t Abercrombie’s forbears, it was the man himself.

    These are just minor things but shows that even sources of great information have issues.

    Not to confuse things but some of you may remember the thread where we discussed the possibility of fakes regarding a seven pointed crown and a suspicious Collins mark with an apostrophe Collin’s. Perhaps this book may provide some insight into that as well.

    Interesting stuff and discussion, Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
    Square_peg and Miller '72 like this.
  4. grafton

    grafton

    479
    Aug 28, 2010
    Also..one question for droppoint. Is it your position that the counterfeiters were also using counterfeit A&F and other company markings in addition to the fake Collins marks? If so, why? Do you suspect the companies were in collusion with the counterfeiters and purposely subverting Collins to save a couple bucks while risking their good name at the same time? And if not, who was marking the axes with the company logos after the fact and when?

    Maybe that’s more than one question...
     
    Miller '72 likes this.
  5. grafton

    grafton

    479
    Aug 28, 2010
    One thing I think is notable is that these cases are more than twenty years prior to when A&F even listed a Collins Hudson Bay in their catalog. Since it seems some of the questionable marks are found on some of these axes I don’t see how any of the previous cases would have anything to do with these particular axes. Hope that makes sense...
     
  6. grafton

    grafton

    479
    Aug 28, 2010
    Here is the link to the other thread with questions regarding the 7 point crown and the apostrophe in Collin’s.

    My position on these is the same until proven otherwise, most likely legit...

    https://www.bladeforums.com/posts/15884991/
     
    Square_peg likes this.
  7. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    Well, it does set the stage and reveal something about the extent of the problem by indicating that more than 35 companies were involved with making fake Collins axes, since Collins won lawsuits against 35+ companies. And the later dates given in the information about German fraud correspondence (1906-1913) suggests some potential overlap with the production dates of the A&F HB axes. Not to mention that in their 1921 catalog page posted in this thread, Collins is still warning about imitations that are being offered (present tense).

    However, the photos from the Collins Machetes book do show a similar crown stamp that I previously thought was a fake (since I had seen no other examples). So there's now less basis for my earlier opinion, which I am 'downgrading' to 'suspect' (instead of 'more likely than not'). I still have some doubts about the shoddy-looking misalignments of the stampings, because IIRC all the examples shown from the Collins book have good alignment.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
    Miller '72 and grafton like this.
  8. C&Co. Legitimus

    C&Co. Legitimus

    50
    Jul 12, 2018
    I agree the stamp is in an odd location but I would bet the butt was mushroomed and then filed down?
     
  9. grafton

    grafton

    479
    Aug 28, 2010
    I apologize for continuing to bring up A&F and DTA Co as I’m sure no one here is nuts about them like me...but I think it is critical to this conversation and here’s why:

    We’ve established that since some counterfeiters had produced exact copies that we would never really be certain about those particular axes. Fine. However when you add the other mark from a company you have something else to go on. Those A&F and DTA logos would have to have been put on by the counterfeiter too, correct? And if so, they were being made and designated to be sold by those companies in their stores and catalogs.

    There is absolutely no variation in those markings that I have seen in terms of shape, size or shoddiness.

    If they are counterfeit then both of those companies knew that they were selling counterfeit goods in their stores and catalogs...at the same time they are selling other legitimate Collins products.

    Perhaps they provided samples to the counterfeiter. Starting to sound a little far fetched?

    A&F and DTA Co. already had undisputed relationships with Collins going back to the beginning, selling their axes, hatchets, machetes, prospectors picks etc.. so now they are replacing or supplementing that supply with fakes..some of which they might have to import...WHY O WHY would they do that???

    To save a few cents on a possibly inferior item or two that didn’t make up a huge part of their sales anyway and risk a reputation that was a huge foundation of their success???

    Meanwhile the Collins Co is literally just down the road and they are still getting products from them too.

    None of that makes any sense!

    Aren’t the chances of an unfamiliar looking mark or roughly placed mark actually being legitimate higher than the chance of the alternative scenario I attempted to describe?
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
    Square_peg and Miller '72 like this.
  10. crbnSteeladdict

    crbnSteeladdict

    657
    Jul 31, 2017
    Is it the one with Civil Defense stamp? I am curious about the process how those big government agencies ( WPA, CWA, CCC, CD) acquired those tools. Huge contracts, or just sourced from local dealers. I am prone to believe Miller's axe left Collins factory already with CD mark on it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
    Miller '72 likes this.
  11. Miller '72

    Miller '72 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 25, 2017
    I wish I had some history that came to me with the Legitimus CD stamped fireaxe, sadly but gladly it was a scrapyard rescue.
    Yes I happen to agree and or assumed it was contracted for and factory stamped as such.
    I too am curious to learn more, and am remotivated to hopefully get some library time here.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    :cool:
     
  12. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    Before I saw the same crown stamp in the Collins book, I thought this axe, and others with that type of crown stamp, were more likely than not a fake:

    [​IMG]
    (previously posted by droppoint)

    I recall other examples with even worse alignment.
    Now having seen evidence that Collins did use this crown variation, I still have some suspicions about the alignments and overstrikes, but maybe Collins did this, too, I just haven't seen 'verified' examples (such as in photos from the company museum or production line, or in books or YesteryearsTools) of such composite stampings with misaligned text being done by Collins in the 20th century.

    I agree that the Ambercrombie examples add more layers of complexity to the counterfeit scenarios. When I thought that type of crown stamp was not used by Collins, the simplest explanation seemed to be that a dishonest middleman somewhere was sourcing them cheaper from a shady manufacturer. Now I suppose that the simplest explanation could be that they aren't fakes, and Collins didn't care about some of their axes having shoddy stampings.
     
    Miller '72 and grafton like this.
  13. grafton

    grafton

    479
    Aug 28, 2010
    That seems reasonable to me. Also Collins (the upper management) probably didn’t inspect every head so your dealing with just a man or two on the line. I can imagine with thousands of items going out you might have a mistake or two. Not to mention a hungover guy on Monday morning with a bit of a shakey hand. Instead of tossing a perfectly good axe due to a bit of sloppiness you just sell it along with the rest. It’s still perfectly legible. Would a customer even care? Maybe the foreman wouldn’t even see it, employees get good at that sort of stuff..

    On smaller axes like camp axes and hatchets if they were using multiple stamps, there is less room to get them all in and I think some overlap is probably to be expected.

    I suspect we are close to being on the same page. Maybe a little fishy or slightly off of what we might have thought was “normal” but certainly not ripe smelling enough to throw it out.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
    Miller '72 likes this.
  14. Miller '72

    Miller '72 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 25, 2017
    All very plausable... hard telling not knowing :D
    Along both points and after reading stevetalls last post i started thinking about production costs, quality of the labor force, meeting sales contracts and maintaining a hold on the market share as we progress into the 20th century.
    Axe makers going under, others being bought and conglomerates being formed, then the chainsaw...perhaps sometimes just getting 40 heads in the crate to ship by the deadline was enough if it was only a few dbl/over strike stamps here and a few there I suppose.
    I am enjoying this riddle and ride:)
     
    Yankee Josh and grafton like this.
  15. droppoint1

    droppoint1

    208
    Nov 16, 2009
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    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
  16. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    Now if somebody happens to go to the Connecticut Historical Society to look into Box 3, Folder 7 (German Fraud Correspondence, 1906-1913), let us know if there's any mention of counterfeit Abercrombie axes. ;)

    "If you think you have counterfeit Abercrombie & Fitch, or if you see our stuff somewhere other than one of our stores, let us know..."
    -- Abercrombie & Fitch Brand Protection
     
  17. grafton

    grafton

    479
    Aug 28, 2010
    Droppoint, I don’t think the evidence proves that all suspected fakes are authentic either. We can agree on that. If I stated that definitively before it was not my intention to do so.

    I just think it is more probable that they are real than fake. I understand you are on the other side of that and that’s fine.

    The Abercrombie’s Camp logo in the book is an error to my mind simply because every time the author used the name in the text he omitted the apostrophe and “s” Had he used them but only left them out in the logo it would indicate to me that he knew the correct trademark and I would question it further. His other error regarding the company founder and not knowing the date of the companies founding are further evidence that he just didn’t know. Even well researched books are prone to errors like that. He’s a machete guy not an Abercrombie guy so that makes perfect sense. I also don’t think that the David T Abercrombie Co. would have allowed that error onto their product, it’s their trademark logo. On the other hand, that didn’t stop Collins from changing up their stuff ;)

    If A&F and DTA co logos were being applied by a counterfeiter then those are the stores where they were ultimately intended to be sold. Two webs of scandal within the workings of A&F and DTA co. (Two completely separate companies) at virtually the same time to save a few dimes or for a shifty employee (from each company) to get rich on just doesn’t seem likely at all to me but strange things can happen.

    Imagining elaborate conspiracy theories to explain why an uneven, overlapping or different looking Collins mark is fake just seems like a stretch.

    I would now love to direct this discussion towards the Collin’s logo with the apostrophe vs. Collins without apostrophe. That one still baffles me a bit.:D
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
  18. droppoint1

    droppoint1

    208
    Nov 16, 2009
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    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
  19. grafton

    grafton

    479
    Aug 28, 2010
    Those quoted posts show what I would call an evolution of thought and a fair amount of tongue in cheek. They were an attempt to show how wild those accusations and conspiracies would be but I apparently failed at that. We can also agree that for now “we” don’t know. I’m also beginning to realize that you are quite possibly more jazzed by the argument than you are the topic.

    That is I assume you are. I don’t know you are, nor do I claim you are but I think you are...

    Now, I would like to know if there is anything about that Collin’s with the apostrophe in that book. I plan to buy it but I can’t wait..
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
    Miller '72 likes this.
  20. Miller '72

    Miller '72 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 25, 2017
    Ya buddy!
    Connecticut Historical Society is in Hartford, not a bad drive. Times they are open and my free time oppose each other at the moment but certainly this is doable at some point. Sooner than later I hope, sadly my wife does not find this nearly as interesting or important as I do :(o_O
     

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