For the past few weeks an eBay seller has been selling what he describes as 'very good photographic reproductions' of rare Smilers Sheets, mostly Business Customised Sheets.
These are not the ones that Tony Buckingham and Adrian Bradbury, etc, produce at reasonable prices, but include some which were produced in small quantities in the early days, and which are priced in the upper hundreds of pounds.
These are some samples - Eagle Coaches (catalogued £1000), George Kreizler Piano (£250), and Eastbourne Eagles speedway. Many more are available.
What is being sold are not marked as forgeries but the description clearly states that they are photographic reproductions, "a very rare sheet which is on photo type card to be used as a spacefiller (you will not be able to tell the difference)." The Buy-it-Now price of £16 or even the lower price achieved by auction is a giveaway - if it seems to good to be real, it is.
The problem, as with any forgery, comes when these are re-offered by a collector or his estate, either in auction or to a dealer. The potential buyer may well flick through the collection and think that there are all genuine, as indeed most of the collection would be as many Smilers Sheets (generic and Business) can now be bought at a fraction of their original sale price.
Remember this and be alert in the future, whether you are buying a collection on eBay, in your local auction, or if you are a dealer and such a collection is offered to you to buy.
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