something to be wary of

Roger Young

display sample collector
My attention was recently drawn to an up-coming auction of concern. I was asked for my opinion on a "salesman's sample canoe" offered by Victorian Casino Antiques of Las Vegas, item #558 in their 'Fall Auction, 2nd session', to be held on 15 October 2011: Pre-sale estimates suggest a value of $120 - $1200, with an opening bid requirement of $90. The sale is advertised by 'Live' auctions, with Internet bidding welcome.

In short, my opinion of the item is not good. I have advised both those who inquired of me as well as alerting the auctioneer. A copy of my email to him follows:

"Dear Mr. Sidlow:
I regret to inform you that your item #558, "Salesman's sample canoe", in your fall sale, 15 Oct. 2011, is very badly mis-described and is, in fact, a hoax. It is NOT an authentic salesman's sample of any known historic canoe manufacturer. It is a recently made (probably within the last 15 years), poorly constructed, very cheap canoe reproduction from China, imported to the US by the thousands and sells at many craft shows for about $25. Pieces like these are often 'antiqued' and 'distressed', then placed in auctions by scammers and sold to unwitting buyers who have been sadly misled by claims that they are 'salesman's samples'. They are fakes.

On behalf of historic canoe lovers everywhere, I hope that you will take steps to correct your listing. I am a long time collector of historic canoe models, and a member of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association ( I am attaching a copy of an article I recently wrote on historic sample canoes; it was published in two, major, national magazines this past spring. In the article is a section on 'fakes'; you will notice several photos of canoe models identical to the one in your sale. You may also view my website at

I am writing because your sale came to my attention through inquiries made by concerned Internet viewers; as I have warned these others about the likelihood of mis-description and strong possibility of fakery, I felt it only fair that I advise you as well.

Please help lovers of authentic canoe heritage to end any possibility of deception by correcting your description or withdrawing the item altogether.

Thank you.

Roger Young"

You can make up your own mind as to whether or not you wish to bid ....................
Roger I have one of those. I bought it at a gift shop in Canada some seven or eight years ago. I believe I paid about 12 dollars..for sure it was less than twenty bucks.
I hope that they deal with that promptly.The company seems to be in the business of selling antiques such as toys and tin signs. These are things that are often reproduced. You would think that it behooves the store to be vigilant.
Well, everyone, I have excellent news to report. The auctioneer has written to say that the listing has been revised. His response follows:

"Roger, Thanks for your input, I appreciate your passion. We have changed the description to Small Sized Canoe to more reflect what is actually there
Thanks again

Can't ask for more than that; a quick, impressive and honest response! I wish more were like that.