1901 Lillie Langtry Brass or Bronze Belt Buckle

This example is not an antique belt buckle, as the title may suggest, but actually a newer reproduction of a fantasy buckle. The `1901 Lillie Langtry' fantasy buckle design that was copied by the maker of this current item is now almost 40 years old. Even so, the maker of the new buckle must have been aware of the well-established illegitimacy of the older fantasy item before copying it because the mark illustrated on the example in this listing is nearly the same as the mark on the `original' fantasy (fake), except the name of Tiffany & Company had also been included in the mark on that item. The maker of this later copy has removed the Tiffany & Company name. See a similar mark often seen on the older fantasy items at the top of the Bogus Buckles page in Favorite Links.

The producer of earlier fantasy `Tiffany' marked buckles made up a fake book about them and paid to have it printed. They then sold the book to help give credence to the many fantasy buckle designs they were making at the time – because those items were illustrated and described as if desirable antiques in their book. This complicated effort was done for the sole purpose of 'authenticating' fakes and fantasy items of their own fabrication. Meaning, the intent was for collectors to see and buy the book being sold independently and because of their already established interest in collecting old belt buckles. They could then be expected to use the 'information' in it to 'prove' the age and value of the buckles they were buying separately from the same faker and any associated middlemen. Thus it was that someone enabled the selling of brand new buckles to collectors as if they were old. And in many cases, these were purchased by dedicated collectors for outrageous prices. The pseudo-reference book mentioned is now also listed in this shop as Item ID: 2007RP00049 .

Although some modern characteristics about this buckle could be noted for identification purposes, the easiest thing to keep in mind is that an authentic antique `1901' Lillie Langtry commemorative-type belt buckle design was never made. Nothing like this piece ever existed in 1901 or any other time other than the contemporary era. So no real 'jewelry' company prior to the time period of the late 20th and early 21st centuries could ever had placed their own true maker's mark on one. The only 'original' item of this nature ever made was a fantasy concoction produced solely to help perpetrate fraud on a marked group of collectors.

Even if these items were to be produced with the back stamp of a legitimate company, today, they would still be only reproductions of a fake. Nothing about this specific individual example is legitimate. And, in truth, the image it portrays of the 'Jersey Lillie,' doesn't really even much resemble the woman it is supposed to honor.

This item measures 3 and 1/4 inches x 2 and 1/4 inches.

Item ID: 2007RP00066

Modern Reproductions, Fakes and Fantasies


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