Union Pacific Railroad Brass Cuspidor

This example is a fantasy item with the appearance of having a railroad association. But this cuspidor, or spittoon, is not authentic and the image of an old-time steam engine and "Union Pacific RR" embossed on its front are intended to suggest something that isn't true about it. Since it was not made by or for the Union Pacific Railroad and is not old this is an item that is potentially deceptive for novice buyers.

Made of brass so thin that it is easily dented, the material from which it is made would not have stood up to the heavy boot traffic of a busy train station, bar, or similar environment. The shape, too, is illogical for a spittoon, since it would be easily tipped.

These types of items are of no value to a knowledgeable collector and yet they have the distinct ability to fool those who are just beginning to collect railroadiana articles. Especially if a seller's description gives information that is not accurate, such as a false 'provenance' of having come from a local railroad terminal building when it closed.

This example and the other similar pieces stamped with false advertising emblems or with western/civil war marks, are all modern fantasy items. All the so-called Redskin Cut Plug, Pony Express, Wells Fargo, Union Pacific R.R. (or other 'train' motifs) or 'Confederate' CSA spittoons, etc.., were originally designed, and sold only in recent times, by a well-known and quite modern reproduction wholesale outfit. No copper or brass spittoon made in this same illogically tall shape should ever be expected to be an authentic item. Authentic spittoons are squat in shape, making them very difficult, if not impossible, to accidentally tip over.

See also item ID: 2007RP000134 in this shop which is a comparable advertising example.

Measures 10 inches tall and 9 1/8 inches wide across the top opening.

Item ID: 2007RP000161

Modern Reproductions, Fakes and Fantasies


Ruby Lane, Comparisons, CA   

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