This example is another fake of which collectors need to be aware - and beware. The presence of the year date of 1902 may encourage the belief that it is old. Three other important features mean this is the type of item that might easily cause someone to overspend. Especially if it's sold accompanied by 'provenance' that is equally as false.
Features other than the date that might help this item appeal to collectors would be the highly detailed Western themed image of a 'Pony Express Company' horse and rider racing along the front above a 'Wells Fargo & Company - Since 1852' mark. Also, a backstamp that reads, 'Tiffany Studio New York.' Any one of these features by itself could make a beginning collector assume this item must be very old, though it is not. Another "Tiffany England Bronze Wells Fargo Belt Buckle" almost identical in design to this one, but imprinted with different marks, is also listed in this shop under Item ID: 2007RP000173.
On the back of the buckle in this listing is a stamped, circular mark that reads, "Made in England, The Celebrated, E. Gaylord, Mass, Patent Buckle, Fine Presidential and Royal Grade." Quite impressive sounding, as the bogus buckle maker meant it to be. The 'Tiffany Studio' mark also was intended to add an element of, 'Wow!' Believing one has just been presented with the opportunity to own an authentic Tiffany item can cloud judgment. Fakers count on this reaction.
Tiffany's expertise in the field of design helped make them famous. Potential buyers of belt buckles marked the way this example is marked often do not ask themselves if Tiffany ever really made such an object (they didn't) or why their singular name would appear on a design created by someone else (E. Gaylord). A buyer also may not stop to ponder why the name of a New York based company with neither commercial outlet nor manufacturing facilities in England at the time the buckle was supposedly made would appear on an item also marked 'Made in England.' Last, but certainly not least, note the mark is not correctly plural, 'Tiffany Studios,' but incorrectly singular, 'Tiffany Studio.'
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, as noted in Item ID: 2007RP00049 here in this shop.
For information about the many types of fake and fantasy items marked with the Wells Fargo name, none of which were ever made by or for the Wells Fargo company, including belt buckles, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) at about/history on the wellsfargo website.
Measures approx. 3 3/4 inches y 2 3/4 inches.
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.