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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Princess Mary tin contents


stu

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I'm considering buying a Princess Mary tin with contents,however,from what I understand there are a lot of faked contents out there.

Perhaps with the aid of some scans can anyone please advise me exactly what to look for to spot the genuine articles/fakes.

I heard the tobbaco and cigarettes get faked,but do the other contents also get faked.

Due to the likelyhood of buying faked contents,I'm very reluctant to buy on ebay or elsewhere online,I would far sooner be able to inspect before I part with any money,can anyone recommend a dealer in the London area who might have the real thing for a fair price,alternatively,I can also visit the Watford,Brittania and Bromley fairs if neccesary,although I would sooner steer clear of the Islington fair which I consider to be a waste of time.

Many thanks

Stu

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Faked tin contents is certainly news to me. Repro, or replica items abound, but they're fairly easy to spot. By far the biggest headache is the silver coloured foil on the ciggies and the baccy. The original foil had a diamond embossed pattern on it. I've not seen this anywhere else. I use the standard embossed foil from a modern ciggy packet (Senior Service as it's silver and the ciggies are about right).

I believe that the yellow wrapping paper has a semi-gloss finish to it. Repro paper is matt and probibly photocopied on. The same thing would apply for the greetings card. Repro ones would come out of a computer printer, rather than from a proper printing press (ditto for the photos).

The bullet pencil is a little harder. Original ones are monogrammed. I haven't seen repro pencils, but I suspect that they won't be monogrammed. I haven't seen repro lighters either. Oddly enough (since I makes models), I'd like to have a crack at making a decent repro out of brass and alloy tube (and a skipping rope). Can anyone give me a set of dimensions (including the thickness if the metal tube) so I can give it a try? Oh, if I do make these, they won't be monogrammed.

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Just to add to the above post the silver bullet itself is marked "Sterling"

Regards

N.S.Regt.

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Although Paul Hinkley's Old Contemptibles website appears to be defunct now you can still find his research of the Princess Mary tins at this link. You will find this section with very good descriptions of the various tins and their contents. There are also quite a few photos that should be able to help you (Although several of the photos no longer appear including those of the contents).

Tim L.

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Stu,

As with all these items you really need to handle the real thing and build up experience of the look and feel. As above, the biggest giveaway to the cigarette and tobacco packets is the 'crinkly' foil. The cigarettes inside should also be monogrammed and the tobacco within will be obviously old (or obviously new if faked). Of course if the packet is sealed a seller will not let you open them up to check!

The paper in the card and envelope is again different to the originals in feel and you really need to again see the originals.

These days to find a tin with everything is very difficult hence the huge prices for genuine pencils on ebay. Most would consider a tin with the cigarettes, tobacco, card and envelope to be effectively 'complete'.

Another link here.

And a bit more on collecting militaria.

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HI, I have a bullet pencil(see blury pic below, you can just make out the monogram). It was odd how I aquired it. I bought an empty princess mary tin, I showed it to my grandfather as I thought he may be interested. He didn't have a clue what I was showing him, but said he has one indoors, inwhich he gave me. Then quite a few months after I showed him my smle I bought. Then the next time I saw him He gave me what he thought was normal blank .303. To my suprise it was a bullet pencil(sadly no pencil inside). On asking, where he aquired these items, he just remembers them lying around the house. But the tin and pencil must of came together, were ever they did come from ?

post-8-1098918299.jpg

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Thanks to you all for your replies.

The possibility of buying copied/repro contents concerns me,perhaps my use of the term fake is incorrect if they were purchased as copies/repros,but I have heard of some unscrupulous dealers selling repro contents as the genuine article,to a novice like me these surely then become fakes if I was unlucky/mug enough to have bought them.

Now that some of the differences have been pointed out to me,I think I may have spotted some repro cigarettes/tobacco being touted as the real thing on Ebay.

Personally,I still want to see to them"in the flesh" before I buy just to be certain.

Many thanks.

Stu

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