One of the benefits of being a dealer at The Brass Armadillo is having the opportunity to learn about so many things ranging from just plain old “stuff”, to antique furniture, to glassware, and on and on. Everyone is aware of reproductions; “Repros “or “Fakes” are made to be sold by unscrupulous persons as original items. But I never thought about “authorized” reproductions until this past week when I met Dirck Schou, CEO of H. F. Coors/Catalina China pottery in Tucson, Arizona. H. F. Coors (yes founded by the son of the Coors Brewery founder, Adolf Coors) is the only authorized manufacturer of the legendary Mimbreno dinnerware which was used exclusively on the Santé Fe Railroad Dining cars. Original Mimbreno was made from 1936 to 1970. I’ll be writing about Mimbreno in a later blog.
Hearing about the Mimbreno authorized reproductions led me to learn more about “authorized” reproductions. In order to obtain legal rights to reproduce an item, a manufacturer has to obtain permission from the holder or heirs to the original owner of the trademark or patent of the item. This process can be expensive and quite a lengthy period of time before the reproduced item can be made. Thus authorized reproductions are often somewhat expensive, but usually not nearly as expensive, or as scarce, as the originals. Therefore, we can possess and enjoy the beauty of an antique without have to break the bank to purchase it.