This example is a reproduction cast Iron animal that sellers may describe to be either a vintage child's toy or vintage doorstop. The original piece from which the mold for this item was taken was a cast iron still bank. So this item is neither of the types of items it is often suggested to be and unless your personal idea of 'vintage' is anything made within the past two or three years, then it isn't that, either. For identifying newer cast iron 'toys' and banks look for a rough surface, grinding marks made by modern power tools, poor detail, crudely applied paint and sloppy assembly. Reproduction cast iron banks often will have individual pieces that don't fit well together. Look for misalignment and gaps at seams where the pieces meet.
In the case of this poor animal, the misalignment problem was resolved by simply casting him as one solid piece, without halves that would need to be joined together later. This meant covering over seam lines where the original piece was joined and then making the mold. The unfortunate effect, of course, was that of removing all of its bank-like properties, too. There isn't any slot for inserting coins anymore. If you look closely you can see where the screw that held the original together while it was being copied was placed. So, even the original screw head was replicated in the mold process.
Manufacturing a one piece article is much faster and less costly than making an item in pieces and then joining them later. It isn't unusual to find matching items in both cast iron and ceramic. This is done in order to maximize profit from a piece, as it can then be sure to appeal to a different group of collectors.
Quite a few 19th and early 20th century foundries incorporated a mark, name or patent number into their molds. However, since some reproductions are produced from molds made from an original piece, as with many other types of collectibles, always keep in mind that even if you do see a maker's name that isn't always proof the item is authentic. This item is not marked. Reproductions and fantasy items being made overseas today are rarely marked. They might have originally sported a snappy and colorful paper label but, generally, as soon as delivery to the first wholesale buyer has been made those paper labels tend to ‘fall’ off.
Don't let the wool get pulled over your eyes on this one. It's a modern fake and it shouldn't cost you more than a dollar or two to own one.
Measures 5 inches long, 3 ¼ inches high and 2¼ inches wide.
Item ID: 2007RP000129
Illustrations and Characteristics for Help in Identifying Many Confusing New Items
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