Vintage Graflex Experts:.....What do I have here?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by tigerwoods3423, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. tigerwoods3423

    tigerwoods3423 New Member

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    Hey everyone,

    I posted this on the fx sabers forums as well and figured I'd try here to get some more opinions.

    I've been working on filling out my man cave and wanted to add a Mark Hamill autograph because...well, for obvious reasons. I didn't want a run of the mill picture or action figure. I wanted something that would stand out. Then a lightbulb went off....an autographed lightsaber! I did some searching and all of the PSA authenticated ones were way out of my price range. Then I stumbled across something more in my wheelhouse.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/STAR-WARS-...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

    The seller describes/titles it as a replica lightsaber signed by Mark Hamill inscribed "Forcefully" to "Richard" with what also might be a George Lucas signature. I'm pretty familiar with original trilogy signatures so I knew the Hamill was the real deal by the naked eye. The seller's suspicions in the description were correct as the supposed George Lucas sig wasn't even close to the real deal. I made a couple offers and we came to an agreement that I was comfortable with. I couldn't wait for it to get here. Shortly after buying it, I bought a ANH conversion kit from Roman Empire to complete it once it arrived (can't wait for it to get here).

    Fast forward 3 days...

    The hilt arrived today and quickly after unboxing it, I thought it was pretty beat up with a generic blank bottom and a shiny strip on the clamp. The first thing I did was use some Bar Tenders Helper to remove the fake George Lucas signature as well as the name "Richard" because...well....I'm not a Richard. As I started to look at it a little closer, I started to get hints that this might not be a replica. I took the hilt apart and noticed rust and battery residue with more scratching that indicated years of use....but I'm still not sure. I know things can be "antiqued" to look old. I started to look at the shiny stripe where the Graflex logo would normally be and realized that it was actually a strip of lead tape. I peeled it away and...


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    Then I took a closer look at the bottom. It wasn't blank after all...more lead tape. I removed it and the D ring that was incorrect for ANH saber and what was revealed?...

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    So there you go. The seller mentioned that he got this from someone in "the industry" and had Hamill sign it at a convention in the 90's in Anaheim. I think when he referred to it as a replica he just meant replica in a sense that it's not one of the real props from the movie. I'm under the impression that it's actually a real vintage Graflex 3 Cell signed by Hamill. Hopefully someone who is an expert on vintage Graflex can let me know once and for all. Let me know if you need any more pics or have any questions. Without further adieu, pics...

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  2. JoeG

    JoeG Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    To my eyes it has all the correct details indicating that its vintage. No tells like incorrect pin holding the bulb release ears, brass pins that don't look properly aged, or things like that. The only thing that looks slightly weird to me are the signs of what looks to be heat discoloration inside the clamp. I've only ever seen that on replicas, not vintage ones.
     
  3. SethS

    SethS Master Member

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    Looks vintage to me. I've seen clamp discoloration like that-- I suspect it's from moisture or corrosion getting up there, but was latter cleaned off.
     
    MakBzh likes this.
  4. Foe Hammer

    Foe Hammer Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Looks vintage, top to bottom. :thumbsup
     
    MakBzh likes this.
  5. tigerwoods3423

    tigerwoods3423 New Member

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    Awesome! Thanks for the replies. I have a bubble strip, grips, and a D ring on the way. Once it is complete, I'm going to display it in my man cave in a LED lit display case. This is nuts. I was just hoping to get a Hamill sig on a force FX let alone an actual vintage Graflex. Needless to say, I got a steal.
     
    Drew Baker and The14thDr like this.
  6. Jedi Reali

    Jedi Reali Sr Member

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    Sure looks real to me. Congrats on your purchase!
     
    MakBzh likes this.
  7. Probe Droid

    Probe Droid Master Member

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    I also think it's real. The bulb contact looks used and there are the right kind of blemishes on the inside. Enjoy it.
     
  8. parfaitelumiere

    parfaitelumiere Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    wow good deal even without signature!
     

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