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Oct 29, 2008

FAKE: "USN brass lock - federal # 5 - W. Bell & Sons"

Beware, this lock is either a copy of an authentic lock or an outright fake.

this brass lock was made in phila, pa by the w. bell and sons locksmith company for the USN - it is marked federal # 5 and 4 brass levers- it is 2 3/4 x 4 inches closed and comes with its original 2 keys-each key has the numeral 5 on them-this is an official us navy dept lock - eBay
My guess is that this lock was made in India, Pakistan or some other place in the region. Look at the key. When was the last time you saw an antique key that looked like that? Also, this lock has two keys which is a rare find for genuine antique locks. The lock looks brand new, which if it were real would of at least shown signs of longterm-storage or at leat minimal use. Also, if still 'new' where is the package or wrapping? Including that in the offer might result in a higher bid price. I had actually purchased the first one of these that I had seen listed but ended up returning it as it was obvious that it was a fake upon receipt. Which my lock mentioned that it was all brass, as this one proclaims, the internal pieces were not made of brass, and were already somewhat rusted.

There have been other variations of this lock to appear in eBay which at least makes it easier to spot them as fakes.

This item sold for $11.50 (Plus $6.45 in shipping.) It is OK to buy a fake, provided that you know it is, and I would also say that the poster admits as much. This listing proclaimed the item as genuine.



Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info on this lock. My mom asked me to sell the same lock except it is stamped with a #3 FEDERAL (instead of #5)for her due to my dad recently passing away. Is this one real? I do know he was in the Navy and retired from Folsom Prison (CA). Not sure if that has anything to do with it? thanks in advance for any help.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the question.

If the key is the same as this lock, flat, then you can probably safely assume that it is a fake. Also looking inside, if you see steel parts and it is marked all brass then again it is probably a fake. If you are not sure then for certain it is not real.

Anonymous said...

i Also have the same lock with a #3 federal on the top. It is very worn and looks like it had lots of use. Plus the insides are brass. Any info would help. Thanks

Anonymous said...

I have a question about the lock it has #1 Federal on it. Under USN it says "OLD ENGLISH" on face of the lock, and it appears to be solid brass.
Thanks, Kevin