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Discussion Starter #1
So I just found these 2 online for sale.

I understand that stamped number 6 would be correct but the other one is supposed to be an old new stock florida where it looks either cast in or etched or something.
Might they both be correct or is the 7* possibly fake?

View attachment 238232

View attachment 238234
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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That is weird. Looks like acid etched which is a technique that can look like that. Laser etched would be more regular looking but both are techniques that can be used instead of stamping.

So until someone can say otherwise, I would assume suspicious if its purports to be vintage..
 

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Well, it's not going to be cast in, not at that size.

They both look like stamped to me, just the lower one using a more worn stamp. Maybe some kind of engraving, like with a vibratory stylus (with a template, though, not by hand).

You know, these things have been made for years and years. Things like number stamps get replaced when they wear out. Or teh manufacturing engineers decide to change the stamping equipment. Or the new guy sets up the machine differently.

The folks in the plant don't set up things like number stamps for the convenience of later generations to do detective work, they set them up to work as efficiently as possible with the minimum of trouble. You have to keep that in mind when people get all wrapped around the axle trying to figure out "is this one of the "large number typeface on the left side" or "small number on the left side" and what does that mean for market value and the price of eggs in China?"

I see the same kinds of discussions about "why does this one horn have a high E key that is like some other horn?" and the answer is almost always in my judgement going to be "because they had some of these left over and decided to use them rather than throw perfectly good parts out, just so someone 70 years down the line won't be confused about the provenance of their instrument."
 

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How much do they want for it?

If they are asking one of these current crazy prices like $1500, then it had better be prepared to paint my house and clean my toilet for that price.

If they are asking $150 and it plays, who cares if it's a fake?
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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.

If they are asking $150 and it plays, who cares if it's a fake?
I would actually care if it's a fake. Not just because of the quality, but because of resale value and the mere (?) fact it is illegal to fake a trademark rendering the mouthpiece less than valueless.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks @Pete Thomas and @turf3

To use a different method other than stamping certainly seems more work and more time consuming.
Perhaps the stamp was indeed worn at its leading edge? or contaminated even with something that resulted in some pitting?
I appreciate folk did what they had to do back in the day to get pieces delivered to suppliers but thats not a cheap mouthpiece for sale so scrutiny is everything once you know people are faking mouthpieces.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
How much do they want for it?

If they are asking one of these current crazy prices like $1500, then it had better be prepared to paint my house and clean my toilet for that price.

If they are asking $150 and it plays, who cares if it's a fake?
Its over $1000 without working out the conversion properly.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Thanks @Pete Thomas and @turf3

To use a different method other than stamping certainly seems more work and more time consuming.
Not really. Laser engraving or acid engraving is way cheaper. A stamp requires a stamp to be made, ie tooled up.

Laser or acid etching is just a bit of relatively cheap kit and software.
 

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7* doesn't look right. Aside from the few unusual things about the number and star (both crooked, wrong typeface, wrong star maybe, looks lasered not stamped), you can see lathe turning marks on the shank that haven't been fully polished out. Never seen that on any genuine Link of any vintage.
 

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Well, over $1000 is a collector price not a player price. You can buy good quality knock-offs of metal Links for a lot less than that. Or you can buy a brand new metal Link and have some facing and chamber work and come out less than that.

So, if there's even a little question as to whether the thing you're contemplating paying a collector price for, isn't actually the thing, take a walk.
 

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I reckon it's a fake, too. Thanks for showing it to us so we'll know to look out for its siblings.
 

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Concur with all above who say that 7* doesn't look right. I've seen my fair share of metal Links over the years and I always remember them being stamped, like the OP's first pic. That 7* looks like it was done with one of those vibrating engravers they use when you buy a new car battery!
Also concur with Morgan that those lathe turning marks on the shank are suspicious as well.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Just to expand on my easier assessment. I am 99.9% sure that is acid etched. Laser engraving would not result in the grainy bumpiness, nor would a cheap electric engraving tool.

Acid etching can actually look really good when performed by an artist, gun engraver or jeweller. It is good for fine work, but not so much for this kind of thing.

What happens is stencil is made from some material that is resistant to acid as a mask. The acid then eats into the exposed metal and will often leave the knobbly surface to the part that has been eaten away, as shown in the photo. Jewellers, knifesmiths, gunsmiths will often make a feature of this effect by introducing some stain so you get a kind shabby/chic texture.

It's relatively easy and cheap, but not something to dabble with due to the chemicals and you are unlikely to make its easily look like stamping.


A jeweller I know uses Ferric nitrate or Ferric cloride hexahydrate depending on the metal, or even Nitric Acid for certain allows or very thick metal (do not try this at home).
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Pete, thanks for the dissertation but it still looks suspicious/fake (to my eyes)! ;-)
Exactly my point! I was just saying what appears to very obviously be the technique that is NOT used in the original manufacture.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks everyone for your info.
It's pretty unanimous then, that what ever method was used on that 7* it's not consistent with any genuine STM that people who have replied has ever seen vintage or modern.
Mores the pity that when we see something advertised its become natural to scrutinise its authenticity.
 
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