Tuesday 5 February 2013

Smilers Sheets warning to collectors and dealers

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 they are all genuine, as indeed most of the collection would be. 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.


  1. Ian, thanks for raising this and for the warning. I'm sure there must be breach of copyright issues here. The stamps are copyrighted to Royal Mail and sheet producers no doubt pay fees for use of the images. The item titles on eBay purport to be offering a Smilers Sheet - no mention of a copy until the description is opened. All in all this particular seller is bringing the Smilers market into disrepute and probably breaking the law by copying and selling other people's work.

  2. I very nearly fell for this when they were advertised some time ago. I presume they are not perforated?

    1. I doubt it, they are photographic reproductions. The perforations should show, and when stored in a Smilers Album I suspect they look much like the real thing.

  3. Yes, the lack of mention in the title that they are reproductions is very annoying. My heart raced for a couple of minutes when I thought someone really was selling an Eagle Coaches Smiler for £16.99 Buy It Now!

    Now it's just annoying when he relists them.

  4. All points are very valid but has anyone considered that postal forgeries are collectible in their own right and it maybe that in years to come these will as valuable or more so than the originals?

    Of course this doesn't excuse the copyright infringement or the very real possibility that they could accidentily be mistook for originals, but then if they do turn out to be as valuable this may not be such a bad thing and could even be finds of the future. Just thoughts and not trying to defend this. So will they be worth a punt? Not with my money!!!!

    And finally thanks Ian, If it wasn't for warnings like this from blogs such as yours a lot more people would be suckered in with no recourse to get their money back as the description is what is sold.


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