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AUTHENTICATION METHODS

Proof of Authentication Takes Many Forms. These include:

Studio tag

Costumers tag

actors or actresses name written in or on the item if it is the studios policy

Studio markings

Studio photo

certificate of authenticty from the studio

guarantee of authenticty from the saler

Reputation of auction,business or collector

the personal word of someone related to the production the item was obtained from

Your own personal knowledge, observations, and comparisons

A studio tag is a good identication that an item was most likely used by the studio the tag indicates. Studio tags are good for helping add proof as to what production an item is from when both the seller and buyer are in dispute. At least then the studio responsible will be known. With the wealth of items out there sometimes it is not so easily determined what studio made what and for what production. Warner Brothers sews a warner brothers label into almost all of their costumes. If a costume is supposedly from a tv show or movie warner brothers made and it does not have a studio tag the question is why? Western Costume Company was a costume company used by a variety of Hollywood companies in the 50's and 60's. Western Costume labels can help show an item is from a production in question. For example many costumes from the Batman Tv series were obtained from the western costume company by the studio and as such should have a western costume label sewn in. Of course it is possible to tear a studio tag or label from a cheap item and attach it to a reproduction of a more expensive item but they do help show at least some studio involvement in the item in question regardless.

A costumers tag is a tag attached or affixed to a costume item to signify its use or purpose. The inclusion of this with a costume greatly helps authenticate it. But many studios do not use them and they are not to be found with many items at all. Generally the tags are to aid in studio storage, and most often the tag is thrown away at some point or separated from the costume. I have nothing with a costumers tag.

An actors or actresses name is almost always written in the collar of any unique costume item worn in any tv or movie production. The exclusion of this leaves a question of authenticty to be answered. If necessary the handwriting used to write a name in one costume collar can be compared to the one used to write it in others. A nonauthentic item may be found in this way but usually if someone has a replica item and is passing it off as original they tend to forget such a deatail or often do not even know a minor characters name to put in the costume. After all tv credits seldom give credit to all the stunt people or all the people as movies do.

Studio markings are usually found on prop items. Some laser guns have the name of the person who used it etched onto it and sometimes the date the item was made. If an etching is suppose to be on a prop item and it isn't thats a sign. Some early MGM studios used guns have a metal studio tag attached to them which serves as an etching of a sort.

Studio photos can help show an item was used in aparticular scene of a production or by a particular actor. If the item in question is a generic thing like a gun then a studio poloaroid can help lead credence to the notion that it is the one used in that particular scene. Studio photos also can appear as regular prints often with a date and time made and copyright information relating to the studio.

Certificates of Authenticty from a television or movie studios are seldom to be found with prop or costume items. Things from titantic however because they were so mass sold through the J Peterman catalog all have a studio certificate that is quite distinguishing. Certificates of authenticty from the studio help show an item in question is original according to a competent member of the studio it formerely belonged to.

A guarantee from a saler than an item is authentic is useless unless the guaranteee means you get your money back ifyou can prove the itemis not authentic. Most saler issued guarantees just guarantee that the seller sold you what he did and its purpose is so you can show others who you bought the item from. A few companies such as starticles of canada issue certificates of authenticty that carry with them a lifetime money back guarantee of authenticty. Prove the item is not authentic and a refund will be issued.

TOOLS AND BASIC INFORMATION TO AID IN AUTHENTICATION

Still Photographs

a VCR with clear pause capability (4 head)

a still frame video capture card to capture still images from video tapes or television and display them as graphic files on computer monitors. Helps in side by side comparisons.

Knowlege of all licensed reproductions of the item in question

Knowlege of the best unlicensed replicas of the items in question

Of course pictures either online or offline of an unquestionably authentic similar piece are very helpful

THINGS TO LOOK FOR

In ordinary costumes that are valuable only because of the celebrity that wore them and the movie they were used in the only means of authenticating are reputation, costumers tags,pictures and the information mentioned farther up on this page.

However with unique custom made items a more scientific approach to authentication is possible.

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*More Ways to Authenticate including by material composition, and appearance will be added shortly as well as by

Reputation of auction,business or collector

the personal word of someone related to the production the item was obtained from

Your own personal knowledge, observations, and comparisons *****

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