This example is a reproduction railroad collectible brass switch lock and key set. Although on this example the name of the Union Pacific Railroad appears there are many reproduction and fake locks out there that bear the names of other railroads. Some even are marked with the names of railroad companies that never existed!
Although on this example the poor quality casting gives it away as a modern copy (note the visible striations in the surface on the backside of the lock) it still may confuse buyers new to this particular collecting niche. Brass has nice heft in the hand and a handsome glow to it, which appeals to collectors. Fakers know this, plus they really like to cast items of brass, too, because it is easy to apply the false look of age to brass with chemicals.
On items like the one shown in this listing potential future buyers might not realize it was not years and years of actual aging, but a bath in chemicals at the factory that produced the darkened areas. Be alert for many varied types of modern reproductions, fakes and fantasy advertising, Wild West and railroadiana items being made in brass.
Like so many other collectibles, railroad memorabilia of all types is best bought from experienced dealers who are willing to stand behind the authenticity of their goods.
Many fake and reproduction cast brass lock examples can be viewed in the Fakes & Repros section of the Railroadiana Online collector's reference site, a link to which may be found on the Favorite Links page in this shop.
Measures 3 inches long by 2 1/4 inches wide.
Illustrations and Characteristics for Help in Identifying Many Confusing New Items
Item listings in this shop are intended to be viewed for educational purposes, only. Items in this shop are not for sale.