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Potential fake cut model on eBay ?

 
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Vincent



Joined: 06 Oct 2007
Posts: 16
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:33 pm    Post subject: Potential fake cut model on eBay ? Reply with quote

I found this auction on eBay for what looks like a really nice cut model :

http://www.ebay.com/itm/CURTA-Type-I-Calculator-Red-Cut-Model-/181375531627?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a3ad2fa6b

The problem is, this particular seller has sold a few of these over the years, which made me wonder where he got them from. We'll according to this website, the Curta for sale was not always a cut model :

http://www.curtamania.com/curta/code/type_and_age_of_your_curta.php

What do you think ?
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Pete



Joined: 04 Mar 2010
Posts: 176
Location: Great White North

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weren't the vast majority of the first cut-and-colour machines originally modified by their owners? I always thought so - I never heard that Contina offered those from the factory. So you could argue that this one is simply a newer version of that old practice - I once thought of doing it myself to a beat-up franken type 2, as far as I'm concerned the owner can do whatever he wants. Once it's been modified by anyone but the factory it is a different thing in terms of "authenticity" IMO. I have every variation of machine but I feel no need to buy one of these hobbyist-made cut types...it's not exactly a Curta anymore, it's something made out of a Curta.

As far as the actual work, well, what is there to it? You need a good-condition machine. Remove baseplate, body, setting knobs, top carriage...this is the work of moments for all but the knobs and not much more for those. Make one cut in carriage, two on baseplate. Whoops forgot base mechanical attachments plate...okay, wouldn't be child's play, but not too difficult to remove that too. Anodize various bits bright red. Reassemble minus body. Ta da, here we are at the final step, "Sell it".

Bidding on this right now is not much more than some good-condition type 1s go for regularly. If it doesn't shoot up to $1600 I'd say the buyer didn't get killed too badly. If it's $2000 he might instead consider buying a regular one and hiring a jeweller/watch modifier to do the work for him, could be cheaper. If it's $3000 buyer needs his head examined IMO.

EDIT: It sold for USD2386.00. Any brave souls out there with a steady hand on the hacksaw might take note that this machine might have sold for $800 without the modifications.
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