Can you tell which one of the above JOLs is a reproduction?
Click on the JOL you guess to be a repro.
There are several versions of American pulp lanterns currently being reproduced by "Seasons Gone By". The artist is Linda L. Smith. These are the first really good reproduction lanterns that might fool a novice into believing these are originals. The designs being reproduced are the large "Choir Boy" JOL and the 5" tall cat head lantern. The cat head is available in either orange or black. Although the tissue inserts are on thicker paper than the original inserts, please note that there is a danger that these might be altered or sold as originals with replaced inserts.
Differences to watch for: The "Choir Boy" reproduction JOL has eyebrows painted with a paintbrush, giving the eyebrows a hard edge. The originals were painted with an airbrush, giving them a fuzzy edge. This could easily be altered by repainting the eyebrows using an airbrush..
Which is a repro? See photo below
The two left cat heads are repros, they are smaller, the bottoms of the
lanterns are flat and the original (on the right) has circular
"rings" impressed into the pulp.
The reproductions appear to be cast from molds taken from original lanterns. Pulp shrinks when drying so if you put the reproductions next to an original of either of these lanterns, the reproductions are slightly smaller than the originals.
Both reproduction designs are stamped on the bottom and initialed by the artist. Please note that this could easily be altered by an unscrupulous re-seller.
The surest way to determine if the lantern you have is this particular company's reproduction (and the only way they cannot easily be altered) is by looking on the bottom of the lantern. On the reproductions, the base is flat. The originals have indented circular rings. BUT - be aware that it is possible for a company or individual to produce a three part JOL mold that could duplicate these indented rings.
The paper insert is printed on a thicker paper.
The molding of the top of all the lanterns is different than the originals.
The bottom of the lanterns are signed .
The eyebrows are painted with a brush giving a harsh edge, rather than an airbrush which gives a soft edge.
The wide-grinning JOL has a closed nose, the original's nose is open.
The reproductions are slightly smaller than the originals
In the future she is planning on adding her name impressed directly into the pulp on the bottom of the lanterns