Screen Used Die Hard Bearer Bonds inside (1988)

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Volksfrei

Active Member
Hey everyone-

These are my first screen-used props! I've searched for 16 years, tried every which way to recreate them, and finally stumbled across the real deal! I still can't believe I'm in possession of them.

These were bought at a flea market in Southern California in 2000. The owner stored them in his garage until recently parting with them.

I have the Mondo movie replica, and the level of detail and clarity present on the originals is staggering. Although there is no COA, I can attest these are legit. I'm a Creative Director by profession, and deal with printing and presses day in and day out. These were absolutely run offset, which is how they would have been printed for the film in 1988. These are definitely not modern laser or inkjet outputs, and no one would run offset knock-offs in such a small run—too expensive and no press would take on such a small job.

Also, the cropped trim at the bottom matches up perfectly to the stack Theo thumbs through in the vault scene. I'm not claiming these are screen-used, but they were definitely trimmed to the same dimensions at the press.

I'm new to original prop collection. Am I within my rights to create accurate replicas for sale on the forum if there is an interest?
IMG_20201207_093303.jpg


Cheers,
John
 
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Volksfrei

Active Member
I just discovered that the bond paper includes the bond engraver's watermark.

As watermarks can only be applied during the manufacturing of the actual paper, this proves that Tommy Tomlinson, property master, did not make these for the film, but had an actual bond certificate engraver produce legitimate, albeit worthless, bonds for the film. This little prop just got a lot more fascinating!

I received a security alert when trying to upload a photo—not sure why.
 
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Tom

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Awesome prop and a great story behind it. It's always so rewarding when your devotion pays off and you get that grail piece you've always wanted. Congrats! I don't know about the legality of making copies, but I am highly confident that no one would bother you about them. I may be wrong, but I'm not uncertain. ;)
 

AaronL357

New Member
Hey everyone-

These are my first screen-used props! I've searched for 16 years, tried every which way to recreate them, and finally stumbled across the real deal! I still can't believe I'm in possession of them.

These were bought at a flea market in Southern California in 2000. The owner stored them in his garage until recently parting with them.

I have the Mondo movie replica, and the level of detail and clarity present on the originals is staggering. Although there is no COA, I can attest these are legit. I'm a Creative Director by profession, and deal with printing and presses day in and day out. These were absolutely run offset, which is how they would have been printed for the film in 1988. These are definitely not modern laser or inkjet outputs, and no one would run offset knock-offs in such a small run—too expensive and no press would take on such a small job.

Also, the cropped trim at the bottom matches up perfectly to the stack Theo thumbs through in the vault scene. I'm not claiming these are screen-used, but they were definitely trimmed to the same dimensions at the press.

I'm new to original prop collection. Am I within my rights to create accurate replicas for sale on the forum if there is an interest? View attachment 1376047

Cheers,
John
How many did you get?
 

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Volksfrei

Active Member
Awesome prop and a great story behind it. It's always so rewarding when your devotion pays off and you get that grail piece you've always wanted. Congrats! I don't know about the legality of making copies, but I am highly confident that no one would bother you about them. I may be wrong, but I'm not uncertain. ;)

Thanks, Tom! Finding the grail and it being my first screen-used prop is an amazing feeling.

As for copies, I'm coming at this like Vader Helmet collectors seem to do. Some make casts of their originals, right? I see the bond replicas as the same—I own an original and want to make duplicate replica of it?

I'll wait for some others to chime in!
 
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Volksfrei

Active Member
Bought one of these as well. Can't wait to get it. 2 left on eBay
Awesome! You and I haven't crossed paths, but I know you're a die hard collector. I got to the seller pretty early and snatched up three. We were working out a deal for me to buy the rest, but he decided to open up the sale to others. I'm glad you got one!
 

NonnaShawna

New Member
I just discovered that the bond paper includes the bond engraver's watermark.

As watermarks can only be applied during the manufacturing of the actual paper, this proves that Tommy Tomlinson, property master, did not make these for the film, but had an actual bond certificate engraver produce legitimate, albeit worthless, bonds for the film. This little prop just got a lot more fascinating!

I received a security alert when trying to upload a photo—not sure why.
Hi! I think that Ellis Props and Graphics made these bonds.

I have information that they already had the bonds for a previous movie (still trying to find WHICH movie) but did a larger run for Die Hard. It could be just a bunch of hooey, but I have reams of them I got directly from Ellis BEFORE the sale and subsequent auction.

My haul was mixed in with bonds from Beverly Hills Cop, which were made off an authentic loaner bond from Labarre Galleries.

Fun piece of prop-dom.
 

Volksfrei

Active Member
Hi! I think that Ellis Props and Graphics made these bonds.

I have information that they already had the bonds for a previous movie (still trying to find WHICH movie) but did a larger run for Die Hard. It could be just a bunch of hooey, but I have reams of them I got directly from Ellis BEFORE the sale and subsequent auction.

My haul was mixed in with bonds from Beverly Hills Cop, which were made off an authentic loaner bond from Labarre Galleries

Fun piece of prop-dom.
Very interesting piece of history, thanks for sharing!

Still, I have every reason to believe these were made by CS Hutson in LA, which was an actual certificate and bond engraver dating back to the early 1900s.

The prop bearer bond is adorned with their seal throughout, but most importantly, the paper is watermarked throughout with their seal throughout, and it matches up perfectly to a 1937 CS Hutson stock certificate I own.

Watermarks are set into the paper at the time that actual paper is manufactured from pulp. I doubt a prop house manufactured paper just to replicate someone else's watermark.

I highly doubt CS Hutson would supply the blank paper to a prop shop to make the props.

Ill post some photos of the comparisons in a few.
 

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Volksfrei

Active Member
I've created a comparison below. Orange is an actual 1937 stock certificate engraved by CS Hutson in LA, right is the Die Hard Bearer Bond. Sure, barring the watermark, all of the details could easily be replicated with a flatbed scanner in 2021. But in 1988, the cost-effective way to replicate would be photocopy, which would not retain the intricate level of detail present on the prop. The other option would be to engrave new printing plates, which would be insanity. Working in design professionally, and utilizing offset presses petty much everyday, I'm pretty certain these were run on the master plates owned by CS Hutson. Keep in mind Hutson would most certainly not provide blank watermarked paper to a prop house, especially since they were still operating as stock engravers in 1988. Sharing that paper would be too risky with the potential to counterfeit actual stocks.

comparison.jpg
 

joberg

Master Member
I've created a comparison below. Orange is an actual 1937 stock certificate engraved by CS Hutson in LA, right is the Die Hard Bearer Bond. Sure, barring the watermark, all of the details could easily be replicated with a flatbed scanner in 2021. But in 1988, the cost-effective way to replicate would be photocopy, which would not retain the intricate level of detail present on the prop. The other option would be to engrave new printing plates, which would be insanity. Working in design professionally, and utilizing offset presses petty much everyday, I'm pretty certain these were run on the master plates owned by CS Hutson. Keep in mind Hutson would most certainly not provide blank watermarked paper to a prop house, especially since they were still operating as stock engravers in 1988. Sharing that paper would be too risky with the potential to counterfeit actual stocks.

View attachment 1408132
Very interesting research! Did you try to contact CS Hutson directly? Your theory must be right: who would, in their right mind, run such a small off-set printing job? Doesn't make sense...
 

Volksfrei

Active Member
Very interesting research! Did you try to contact CS Hutson directly? Your theory must be right: who would, in their right mind, run such a small off-set printing job? Doesn't make sense...
I think they went bust in the 90s, though I could be wrong.

If you Google them, Google Books pulls up a quote from an early 1900s announcement when they first opened their doors. Speaks to their trade, engraving certificates. Really cool stuff.
 
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