Bells of the Australian Bush  The History, The Makers, The Collectors
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Frequently Asked Questions Comments on Jones Bell Replicas and the legal and ethical ramifications.
I have heard that a current bell maker is producing replica Jones bells, how are these identifiable from the originals? Yes, it is a concern. For the novice it is a real trap as the Jones stamps are reproduced as well. These replicas do come with a paper label but it can easily be removed. This situation has the potential to undermine the value of the genuine Jones bells and all concerned collectors should lobby the maker to recall these copies.  We have posted photos that show the slight differences in the stamps to help identify the replicas. Reader’s comment: Hi, firstly I would like to congratulate you for publishing the photos of the fake S W Jones bells. As for the maker saying “they are made the same way as the early 1900s,” he is joking and also is insulting all the early Condamine bell makers. I would have at least 150 Condamines in my possession - a lot of them with stamped dongers - all original. The steel that he is using would not be as good as the early steel. The comments I have made are the same as every bell collector that I talk to and this so called bell maker is doing a good job of destroying an Australian icon. And this has nothing to do with monetary values. Regards, John Capewell (2008)  Follow-up Report With the up swell of enquiries and concern about the replica bells and tongues offered for sale by a current maker, we have investigated the legal ramifications of this situation. This maker has placed newspaper ads that list his replica Jones bells for $300 and replacement tongues for Jones and Anderson bells for $100 each. After an investigation into this situation, the Office of Fair Trading has advised that the bell maker has broken no laws in selling these replicas so long as he identifies them as replicas and reproductions. The trademarks that he has reproduced are not registered and because of their age, they are now effectively public domain. He is required to clearly mark each item he sells so as to protect the identity of the original bells made by our pioneers. A word of caution however..... anyone who wilfully sells a bell, either a replica or a genuine bell with a stamped replica tongue without notifying the buyer of the fact, could face serious legal consequences. For this purpose and for the sanctity of all genuine articles, the identifying label that the maker supplies should always remain attached to the replica item. Unfortunately, it is inevitable that sooner or later someone will attempt to resell an unmarked replica item. For this reason all buyers should be wary of purchasing bells on the internet or in a way where the item cannot be viewed directly. The advice of an experienced collector should be sought by those unfamiliar with the genuine article.  
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