Do marked reproductions also diminish the value of the rare pieces?
This will ruffle some feathers, but those who are offended by this, are the ones who lack ethics & integrity. So here goes!
Nicole the answer to your question has numerous facets, please allow me to answer to one of those. In my travels I have found two different examples of an easily reproduced decal. To the best of my knowledge, at this point in time, they are the only known examples in existance. One was traded off to another collector who wanted to reproduce it. The deal was made, the decal was reproduced, globes were made, the stuff was marketed & sold. NONE of it was marked as a reproduction or fantasy... Lets pause here, and go to a fantasy scenario. Check out this link, and please read how I found these little jewels... http://www.oldgas.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=141429#Post141429
Now, lets just change that story a bit, to...... I walked into an old warehouse in Denver, and I found a box of old pump plates. Wrapped in paper, they are HIGHLY desirable amongst collectors. Obviously N.O.S. they are worth a FORTUNE!!!! Offer them on e-bay, then list them here. WOW! The first pair sold for $365.00.... The 20 pairs that I "Found" brought over $1500.00!!! BTW, the definition of Found is: I made up a bunch of plates, installed the $12.00 decals, wrapped them in paper, then tossed them in a stack, and dropped a bit of dirt & dust on them.... Cost of decals $240.00. Cost of plates $240.00. Profit. In excess of $1000.00. Who can tell the difference between the original and a fake? Only myself and the new owner of the original. This is called Lying, Cheating, and Stealing. It happens all the time.
So the question is: How would you feel, if you spent $200.00 of your hard earned dollars, on what you thought was an original? I mean, it wasnt marked...
Lets change that up a bit to... I found these decals, and I'll be reproducing these for those of you who are interested. They will be exact copies of the original, though they will be dated and marked as reproductions. Of course, the picture Pirates will steal the images, reproduce a bunch of copies, and sell them for their own profit. But thats a story for another time. Which is exactly why, I dont allow photographs of some of my stuff.
BTW, I'm certain that the person who now owns the original, had no intentions of deceiving anybody, and this isnt to question his integrity. In fact, a lot of collectors now have a piece of history in their collection. Not true history, but at least an accurate representation of it.
And yes, not only are the Weasel Oil cans dated, but they even come with a certificate of Non-authenticity...