Nebraska Leather license plate Value

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Michael Davis
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Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Michael Davis » Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:34 pm

A 92 year old model T collector Bob Gates just dug this out of his closet and wants to sell it. I told him I would do some research to find out its value.
I did some research and it dates around April 1913 ? Any information would be great-full. Sorry no matter what I do it post up side down.
Thanks
Mike
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Dropacent
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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Dropacent » Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:40 pm

I’ve owned and sold original leather license plates over the years, and they are all very valuable. I do not believe yours could be from 1913, unless it was kept in a climate controlled spot ,AND never mounted to an auto EVER in the last 100+ years. Of course, I could be wrong , but there are people making them still today. Yours shows a bit of age, but not from 1913, of course , IMHO.
Last edited by Dropacent on Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Henry K. Lee » Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:41 pm

A Big WOW! I have heard of them, but that is the first for me seeing a picture of one. Thanks for even sharing.

Hank


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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Scott_Conger » Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:59 pm

Tim

I would normally agree, but having leather material from WWI, myself, I am not so sure. The hole in the thing looks just like how very old leather degrades when stored, say, in a dresser drawer.

Here's my take: if it was a repro, and I was making it, I'd have assigned a MUCH lower number to it to "prove" scarcity. In fact, in 1914, last year of home made tags in Nebraska, the number on this is at the very END of registered numbers for that year: https://dmv.nebraska.gov/sites/dmv.nebr ... gstats.pdf

And this one, looks remarkably similar if not identical font, indicating to me a commercial source of the leather blank and the numbers at perhaps local general store?

http://leatherplates.com/wp-content/upl ... ES_N-R.pdf

I'd say it's the real deal.

Michael

From Nebraska DMV, this cannot be 1913, as number is too high. It aligns with 1914 exactly in number of cars registered, and in 1915, the state issued it's own tags. I think this ID's the thing to an exact year.

For value, I'd contact Jeff at http://www.floridalicenseplates.com/ to get info on contacting someone in the license plate collecting circle who can advise you. Jeff's a FL collector, who I've met and is a very nice guy. I'd bet he'd be glad to advise or put you on to someone who knows the market for this Mid-West Plate.

Or, try these guys: https://leatherlicenseplates.com/old-ne ... se-plates/
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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Erik Johnson » Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:20 pm

It looks like the genuine article to me.

My father is collector of early Minnesota license plates including Minnesota pre-state leather plates.

Original leather license plates can vary in condition from minty fresh to horrible. Age really doesn't matter. It depends on what type of environment or any abuse the plate received while it was mounted on the car and how the plate was stored after it was removed from the car.

Also, regardless of its condition, any original leather license plate can be improved via cleaning, detailing and conservation.

For example, leather can be cleaned with saddle soap. In the case of a black leather license plate, the leather can be polished and buffed using clear or black wax shoe polish. Brass or aluminum numbers can be shined with metal polish.

From June 1905 through 1914, Nebraska automobile owners were required to furnish their own plate. If the number of this plate corresponds to 1913, then it would have been on a car two years or less. That is not a long time. Understand that folks didn't drive as much as we do now. Also, in colder climates folks put their cars away for the winter.

Also, be aware that Nebraska pre-state license plates are among the more common pre-state plates because a high number were "issued" for 8.5 years. For example, note the high number of this particular plate.

If there are plans to sell the plate: in my opinion, a good place to sell pre-state license plates is eBay. Do more research on the plate. For example, make sure the height of the numbers corresponds with the Nebraska statute, take good photos from different angles and put it on a ten day auction - late Thursday night through late Sunday night. That gives the plate two Sunday evenings worth of exposure, when there is the most viewing traffic.


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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Dropacent » Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:49 pm

Ok, i’ll bet a dollar to a doughnut it’s not 1913, or 1914. Maybe 1963, maybe 1984. Aluminum tarnishes, leather, being organic, rots. Cotton threads disintegrate. I don’t see a missing stitch. The metal frame under the leather is all wrong.that looks like a casting, not iron wire. Where did it swing on a car for more than a day or two? It shows no signs of conservation. Show me a piece of aluminum from 1913 that doesn’t have a speck of white rust on it. IF it came out of a hermitically sealed time capsule yesterday, I’d still doubt it. I’ll gladly collect or pay up when it’s age is determined.


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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Michael Davis » Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:16 pm

WOW !!! A lot of info to digest . Will do some research on line as suggested.

Thanks
Mike


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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Erik Johnson » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:02 pm

Nebraska didn't issue license plates until 1915.

From June 1905 through 1914, a Nebraska car owner had to display the registration number assigned to him by the Secretary of State on the back of the vehicle. The numbers had to be at least three inches in height and each "stroke" of the number at least a half an inch wide. "NEB" with each letter at least two inches in height was also required to be displayed on the back of the car.

There was no requirement that there actually needed to be some type of plate to display the registration. For example, the registration could be painted directly on the back of the vehicle to meet the requirement.

Affixing metal numbers on a leather pad was a common method, but not a required method. Metal numbers could be directly affixed to the back of the car or to a wood or metal plate, etc. The numbers could be painted on a wood or metal plate or, as mentioned above, painted directly on the back of the car.

In other words, there were a variety of methods that could be used to display the registration on the back of the car.

Since the owner was responsible for figuring out how to display the registration on the back of his car, there was no uniform method for doing this. If they did decide to go with a leather pad with aluminum numbers, they could make something up themselves or buy a pad and the numbers from a vendor to complete the plate themselves or provide their registration number to a vendor who would make up a plate for them, etc.

Bottom line, there are a lot of variations on the surviving aluminum over black leather plates because there was no mandated uniformity other than the size of the numbers and the "NEB" on the plate.

Having been around early license plate collectors my whole life, it looks genuine to me but, if I had it in my possession, I would definitely measure the numbers to be sure they were at least three inches high as part of confirming its authenticity. The fact that the plate appears to be in very good condition does not bother me at all. The idea that just because it is over 100 years old the leather should be disintegrating, the cotton thread should be rotten or partially missing and the aluminum should corroded is absurd to me. Condition is function of storage, not necessarily age. Even though that plate is in very good condition, I have no doubt that there are examples that are even better.

Here is the Nebraska statute from 1905:
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Nebraska 1905.png


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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Scott_Conger » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:32 pm

Tim

I'm as convinced of originality as you are of fakery, I guess. And I agree 100% with all of your reasons...this tag just shouldn't look this good...and yet I have leather products over 100 years old in the same great shape. And they spent most of their life in Florida which is about as hard on leather as anywhere (if left in an un-conditioned garage, which my stuff wasn't...it was kept indoors, in the dark). I could easily share your position if there weren't so darn many examples of the exact same thing on the internet, often in as good of condition. I think that's due to location of the item and sheer quantity of goods produced. If this was a Florida tag, I'd probably be the first to discount its authenticity.

Given the very high number (essentially one of the last issued) and the fact that the next year the state issued tags, I would bet that this tag was not on the car but a couple of months if that, and then for whatever reason was stored.

This license shown below, displays the exact font down to the last detail. Is this a fake, too? I suppose it could be, but man, someone has done a marvelous job at replicating one of the most commonly found leather tags, ever. I'd have done one for Florida, if I was the faker...those are unobtanium in that condition, and undoubtedly worth far more...
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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Dropacent » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:46 pm

Now Erik, no dog in the hunt here. I’m not going to state anything you said was absurd. I am not a license plate collector, but if I were , I wouldn’t touch that one with a ten foot pole. If I lived in Nebraska and wanted to display it on a 1914 auto, for a reasonable price, I’d be all over it. Do you know anyone that actually uses a fragile, ORIGINAL leather plate on their auto?
I just finished looking through all my old auto supply books. 1905-1919. Most in the catalogs are shown as being made of thick heavy leather,tin, or patent leather applied to iron frames. I would guess most were craftsman made,and not factory made. I owned a couple early Michigan plates that were leather sewn together, and aluminum block letters. By 1912 or so, license plate blanks and numbers were rarely even listed , as most states were making their own. I’m sure , as in anything else, old store stock can still be found today if you look hard enough.
I simply stated from my experience, that there are way too many red flags. The condition is right at the top, but far from the only red flag. I will certainly listen to any opinions out there, willing to learn by them without calling them absurd.
For 40+ years I have been restoring and conserving antique items, from the 1880s, up into the 1920s. Often called on to make something that looks like it was born with whatever it’s on. If you gave me a week, I could hand you that plates twin. I could hand you one with one number different. ANTIQUE LEATHER, ANTIQUE THREAD,rusty iron wire for the frame, forge welded together. I’d EVEN USE ANTIQUE ALUMINUM. I have antique leather set aside that I’m going to use for the same purpose, as Ohio plates were craftsman made until 1908. I’ll USE NEW ALUMINUM THAT WILL LOOK JUST LIKE THE ONE PICTURED. No worry’s, mine will be a pair that say “1905 OH “on them . That is the state of all old things. Aluminum numbers similar to that are still made. I could make them IDENTICAL to those, and many people could do so very easily. Reading through Scott’s links, I’m even more inclined to think it isn’t that old. The chance of finding two identical handmade leather plates is extremely unlikely, however one shows age and one does not.
Please hear me, I’m not saying there is anything shady about this plate, as I have no idea what provenance comes with it. it just does not show me authentic age. Is there a chance this was found, unused, never been on an auto, in someone’s dresser drawer? Sure! Could it have been found in a dresser drawer in 2005, left there since it was made 1950? Sure. The original poster needs to do his research, and with the owner still alive, I’d start there. What does HE know about it. Some people just d9nt offer info unless it’s asked for.
r
Last edited by Dropacent on Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Dropacent » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:56 pm

Scott, you just showed me another red flag.

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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by namdc3 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:49 pm

Just my 2c. I have a matched pair of 1914 NE plates on my '14. They aren't unobtainable or priceless, so I choose to hang them on the car. Using them is the way I choose to enjoy them, even though they do have value - just like any expensive accessory or these cars themselves. In the grand scheme of things, none of this hobby stuff is so important or valuable as to not be enjoyed as the owner desires. I don't fault any owner who doesn't hang one on a car, either.

To the OP, I can't recall which one of these gents I met one evening, but he looked at my plates and determined they were original and worth around $800 for the pair. I think these two collectors would be good resources for you, as they are in the NE area.
https://kansaslicenseplates.com/
http://larryslicenseplates.com/


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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Scott_Conger » Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:07 pm

Nikolaus

it would be interesting to see photos
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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Michael Davis » Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:19 pm

Thanks Again for all the information and links.

Mike


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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Burger in Spokane » Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:56 pm

A bit off-topic for actual subject matter, but I have seen a fair lot of 19th century
military leather goods that are remarkalbly preserved.

Just for argument's sake, if this plate were issued in 1914, how long would it have
remained valid, .... or more directly asked, could it have been on a car a very short
term, and then placed in some sarcophagus in a temp/humidity moderated location
to carry it into a far-off century in such *sparkly* condition ? This is often the case
with military uniforms and leather. Could a license plate have, by chance, given a
similar treatment ?
More people are doing it today than ever before !


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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Chris Paulsen » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:12 pm

I'd be interested to know more about the history of this plate. I have the mate, as shown below. I'd be interested in reuniting them if possible. Note that they were assembled in a different style. I presumed mine was assembled later issuing original components.
IMG_20191113_210757435.jpg


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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Scott_Conger » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:29 pm

And so, the prize appears to go to Tim. Good call Tim.
Last edited by Scott_Conger on Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Scott_Conger » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:30 pm

;)
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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by namdc3 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:31 pm

Scott, I'm not with the car right now and don't have any great photos at hand. The numbers are the same font (mine only shares the 4 and 8 numerals with the OP's), as is the NEB. Like mine, the OP's plate frame appears to be a somewhat flat metal rather than round rod based on the outline showing through the leather. Mine has the number tabs through the leather and bent over, unlike Chris's. To others' comments, yes, the plate would have only been used a couple months and then replaced based on it being a high 1914 number and having state-issued plates in 1915. I, and presumably most of us on the forum, am not a license plate expert, but the people linked in the posts above are; I think the OP's on the right track with them.

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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by namdc3 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:40 pm

Scott, Chris's plate just shows another way to assemble the same kit (not the same but similar to the one attached). Nebraska required two plates I assume. If someone comes up with a third 39487, that would be cause for concern. ;)
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1911.jpg


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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Dropacent » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:56 pm

Well, according to this reply, looks like I owe somebody a dollar. Let me know where to forward it. I recd this back from a Florida license plate collector, and he gave me permission to share.
He also offered his opinion on value, although I didn’t ask him that. An Ohio plate or Michigan plate value is far in excess of his opinion on this one, so likely a supply and demand thing. Not being a plate collector , that’s just a guess on my part. I would still point out when purchasing something like this, be very careful. To me, his line #2 would confirm a red flag to me. His opinion doesn’t change my mind on things that would bother me, but I only have to take care of me and mine.
DC6EAB09-5ED8-4949-8346-386CA18F2912.jpeg


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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Erik Johnson » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:01 pm

The 1905 statute that I posted above says the registration number must be displayed only on the rear of the car.

You would have to research the Nebraska statutes to see if and when the above statute was revised to require display on both front and rear.

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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by fbergski » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:05 pm

Interesting information, my grandfather collected Nebraska plates and there are a couple of leather plates remaining from his collection. I took pictures of them a few years back, I'll have to dig them up. My 11 touring has three 27 Nebraska plates under the front seat spring.


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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Dropacent » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:08 pm

I just saw the above post from Chris , on his plate. Good luck figuring that one out. It shows a lot more patina than the first example. Maybe we should all use those numbers in the lottery tomorrow !

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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by namdc3 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:08 pm

If I’m reading that correctly as one plate, that $400 aligns with the $800 for the pair I was told a few years ago.


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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Dropacent » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:14 pm

Again, not a plate collector, but I’ve been around the block, and I stayed at a holiday inn express night. If a single Nebraska leather plate is worth $400, I’d say a pair would be worth quite a bit more than just double. ( unless there are a lot of surviving pairs........then I’m back to thinking someone hammered these all out in the not too distant past. Stranger things have happened )

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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by DanTreace » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:15 pm

And there were commercial mfg's that provided leather pads with alum. numerals to order to meet various state requirements. Some of these pads or plates were made of thick cardboard too. Leather seems to be the better material for license pads.


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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Erik Johnson » Thu Nov 14, 2019 12:11 am

Here is extensive information on early Nebraska motor vehicle registration:

http://allaboutlicenseplates.com/presta ... e=Nebraska

The law was changed in 1911 to require display of the registration number on both the front and the rear of the vehicle. A white on black color scheme was also specified.

The above also includes a suggested breakdown of registration numbers by year.


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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Michael Davis » Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:35 am

Thanks again. I also have had an expert look at this plate and says it is an original NEB plate dated 1913. He states value $300.00 to $350.00


Thanks Again Bob and Mike

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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by shammatt » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:24 pm

This is of great interest to me, as some of you may surmise. As a maker of leather license plates for horseless carriage owners to use and display on their automobiles, I was excited to see what definitely appears to be a well preserved "original", of the era meaning over 100 years old, leather license plate. It seems to tick off all the boxes, such as the aluminum numbers (especially with the top/bottom mounting tabs and especially the stamping die formed "NEB" state monogram. If you click here:
http://leatherplates.com/wp-content/upl ... EB400.png
you can see another authentic Nebraska plate used on my website, it's thought to be a 1914/1915(?) plate but you can make out the "NEB" as being similar to the one shown in the original posting. All that said, now my thinking is that it's a fraud. I'm basing this upon the fact that suddenly there are TWO identical numbered plates, yet they're assembled in an entirely different manner. If would be hard to believe that someone would go to the expense to manufacture a pair of stamping dies for the "NEB" monogram. What are the chances of two differently assembled, but same identical digits appearing on the scene after 105 years.

I believe that in a similar manner in the Province of British Columbia some years ago, a treasure trove of NOS numbers and letters were found and reportedly "many" old plates were soon available at local swap meets, etc. and this very well may have been the situation maybe 40-50 years ago in Nebraska!

Here's another thought or two; as I mentioned above, there was at least one company, Beckley-Ralston, in their 1911 catalog as shown above in an earlier posting, that demonstrates two important facts: Beckley-Ralston did offer a factory stamped "NEB" state monogram in their offering, so no doubt that the state monogram(s) shown in the two photographs (and also in the photo I referenced in my link above) are of original design. However, it's interesting to note that the description in the Beckley-Ralston cut describes the offered monogram as only 4" in height. Which would make the individual N-E-B letter less than 1-1/2" tall, not the proscribed by low, 2"...

To add some more information to the topic, here are the figures for plates issued/year that come from www.allaboutlicenseplates.com

Numbers (and totals) ESTIMATED to have been issued by calendar year:

1905 1 - 571 (571)
1906 572 - 1087 (516)
1907 1088 - 2144 (1,057)
1908 2145 - 4292 (2,148)
1909 4293 - 8588 (4,296)
1910 8589 - 14700 (6,112)
1911 13901 - 22700 (8,000)
1912 22701 - 34000 (11,300)
1913 34001 - 47000 (13,000)
1914 47001 - 63800 (16,800)
1915 63801 - 65500 (1,700)


If you have any questions that I may help with, please don't hesitate to contact me at
Tele: 360-661-6060
Email: steve@leatherplates.com
or reply via the MTFCA Forum[/size][/size]
[b]Steve Hammatt
Mount Vernon WA USA
www.leatherplates.com
www.brassbuicks.org[/b]


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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Erik Johnson » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:15 pm

Steve Hammatt:

Just like it happens today, over 100 years ago license plates were damaged, lost or stolen.

At the time that number was assigned, the registration was required to be displayed on the front and the rear of the car.

It is certainly plausible that both plates are 100% authentic even though they are different in appearance if, during the period of original use, one of the two plates was a replacement of a damaged, lost or stolen plate.

If both plates are 100% authentic, I also would have no problem with them being separated. As you are aware, license plate collectors routinely split up pairs in the course of buying, selling and trading license plates.


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beating a dead horse

Post by Dropacent » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:48 pm

Erik, that boat just don’t float ! Steve Hammett, great info from a man who knows plates. I don’t want to speak for Steve, but I believe what he is referring to Is the height of the state letters. I’m showing what he means by a 2” tall state letter and several methods on how it was done originally . Now, this references the state laws from 1905, perhaps they were different later on. Re/ splitting up pairs. Unless things have drastically changed, I would think splitting up a pair of matching plates would be a mortal sin in that field. In Ohio, finding a matched pair of Ohio porcelain plates is like hitting a home run. Finding a pair of craftsman made Ohio pre state issued plates is like a miracle. In Nebraska, it seems to be no big deal. ( maybe the mother of all red flags)
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Erik Johnson
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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Erik Johnson » Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:57 am

The original poster did eventually post that he had an "expert" say the plate was genuine. Apparently the expert is not very knowledgeable. Or, is he?

If you click on this link, you will see that Steve Hammatt has a period photo with a non-compliant Nebraska license plate:

http://theoldmotor.com/?p=122450

This was cropped from that photo:
1914 nebraska.jpg
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Is the plate in the photo a fake? No, it is merely not compliant with the 1911 statute. Looks like the "fake" or perhaps merely non-compliant authentic plate that is the subject of this thread.

I had posted the 1905 statute earlier.

Here are links to the 1907 and 1911 statutes (I had read these the first day of the thread but did not post).

https://books.google.com/books?id=iYpCA ... on&f=false

https://books.google.com/books?id=QphGA ... on&f=false

When the Nebraska Secretary of State assigned number 41390, that was well after the 1911 statute was effective. The 1911 statute states that numbers were to be at least four inches in height, the "NEB" letters at least three inches in height.

If plate 41390 has four inch numbers, then the letters shown are approximately 1.33 inches high. If that is the case, it would be non-compliant with the statute.

In order for the letters to be three inches high and the plate compliant with the 1911 statute, the numbers on the plate would have to be nine inches high. Do you think the numbers on the plate in the period photo are nine inches high? I don't. That would be an extremely tall plate and, relative to the rest of photo, it does not appear to have nine inch numbers.

A casual search of Google images indicates there are a number of "fake" Nebraska pre-state license plates in existence. Or, they are actually authentic but merely non-compliant with the statute due to the size of the letters that comprise "NEB."

https://www.google.com/search?q=nebrask ... 80&bih=632

Hard as you may find it to believe, license plate collectors do split up rare and valuable pairs in the course of buying, selling and trading. I have personally witnessed this on many occasions throughout the years. In fact, I most recently witnessed this last Saturday.

For some collectors, keeping rare or valuable pairs together is extremely important. For many others, not so important. I would say the latter far outnumber the former and do not consider it a mortal sin to split a rare and valuable pair, especially when there is it is a trade of an equally rare and desirable plate involved or so much money is offered it is foolish to refuse it. As in any hobby, sometimes the desperation to acquire something or the prospect of receiving a significant amount cash outweighs any philosophical discussions regarding what is in the best interest of the object itself as it pertains historic preservation for future generations.

Also, it's not necessarily a bonafide license plate collector that splits up a pair. It can also happened at any time prior to a license plate collector taking possession of a plate.

Finally, family members of the original owner of the plates split up pairs. For example, a pair of plates that were originally on grandpa's car and then were hung on the wall for many years and then eventually split up when one grandson took one plate and another grandson took the other. Eventually one or both figure out they can sell their plate and the long journey for either plate begins. Or, it goes out the door at their estate sales, etc.

Note that both of the Nebraska leather plates in question reside in states that border Nebraska. So, if they are both authentic, they did not travel far from home.

Plates were damaged, lost or stolen, just as they still are today. If both plates are authentic, that is one plausible explanation as to why the two plates look different; one is a replacement from the period of original use.

But, what the heck do I know? I have been around antique cars my entire life. Although I do not collect license plates, my father has been collecting plates for approximately 70 years so I have also been around license plate collectors my entire life so I have had plenty of exposure to a lot of strange but true tales.

On a side note, a while back, my father answered questions for Steve Hammatt when Steve was in the process of making up a leather plate for the James J. Hill Pierce Arrow, a car that was sold and registered in St. Paul, MN. Steve originally contacted me and I referred him to my father.


Wayne Sheldon
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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:27 am

I have been following this thread with great interest from the beginning. I made no comments, because I had nothing really constructive to add. Like Erik J, I never personally made a specialty of collecting plates, but have been around them quite a bit, used YOM plates on several cars, and had many conversations with many plate collectors and dealers including Steve Hammatt (by the way, I was quite impressed by his passion and interest in the subject, and have recommended a fair number of HCCA people to contact him with their needs).
The comment I wish to echo here is that regardless of the opinions (including mine!) that pairs should not be split up, the fact is, that over the years I have personally KNOWN of several collectors that routinely bought pairs and split them up because they only needed one for their collection.
I am not going to speculate on the authenticity of any of the plates pictured above for several reasons. Chiefly, that I am not an expert on them. And that without a close personal inspection, I cannot estimate an actual age.
The odds of a split pair being reunited may be very high? But if it happened here? It wouldn't be the first time.

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FreighTer Jim
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Spot On Wayne

Post by FreighTer Jim » Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:02 am

Nail hit squarely on the head Wayne.


FJ

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Mark Nunn
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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Mark Nunn » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:45 am

Pairs of plates do get split up all the time. Go to any swap meet and you will find singles everywhere. Matching pairs are harder to find. I bought this plate from a collector, who had years-worth of plates with this same registration number. He acquired them from the original owner's estate where the owner had kept all old plates.
Plate - small.gif
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I know for a fact that there is an identical plate in the collector's possession. The only reason he sold it to me was because this one has a nail hole in it. This is now legally assigned to my car in perpetuity. No one else can use the plate number but anyone can own its mate.

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Bob McDaniel
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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Bob McDaniel » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:22 am

I like to have a YOM plate on the front of all my old cars and trucks so have bought a few from different places over the years. My 1916 Indiana Truck has no place to display a front plate but when a real nice 1916 Indiana plate showed up on ebay with original paint I bought it. After the plate got to me and I was happy with it somehow a second original 1916 Indiana plate with the same numbers in a little lower condition showed up from the same seller. I already had my plate but was upset that the seller had a pair and never told me or I would have bought them both to keep them together and save the second shipping cost so yes pairs are still getting split up even today and can end up anywhere in the world now thanks to this internet thing.

As for the way the numbers were mounted to the leather:

Maybe the person putting the numbers on the leather did the first plate and then discovered a "better" way while working on the second plate. They were not doing it for a show car and didn't expect it to last over 100 years and how many times have you heard someone say, "you only see one at a time anyway"? Its good enough for government work and maybe two people were both doing them at the same time like father/son or brothers working together. When I see something like this it reminds me of my Grandpa at the workbench in his garage working on things like this after feeding the cattle and finishing his chores before lunch time. If you grew up on a farm in 1913 you did things like this every day.
Give an old car guy a barn and he won't throw anything away.


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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Erik Johnson » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:41 pm

Another "non-compliant" Nebraska license plate but not a fake.

18142 corresponds to 1911. The 1911 statute revised the minimum height of the numbers from three to four inches. The "NEB" is not compliant with the 1911 statute as the letters would need to be three inches minimum height.

I have to be honest - I do not know when the 1911 statute became into effect so it is possible that there were a number of plates made with three inch numbers instead of four inch numbers during 1911. Even if the numbers in the photo are three inch, the NEB is still non-compliant as the prior statutes specified two inches for the letters.

Regardless, "the boat floats."

Of special note: it appears that the numbers are attached to a piece of mesh or screen.
1911 Nebraska license plate.jpg


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fini

Post by Dropacent » Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:26 pm

To all. I stepped into this interesting subject putting forth my lifelong experience with antiquities. I had only hoped that my observations would help in how to evaluate this item. I’ll probably think twice before I do so again. Why it has hit such a nerve with one person is beyond me. These type of artifacts are no different than antique coins, civil war relics, etc, etc. When these objects become so valuable, that area of collecting will indeed cause fakes to be something to contend with. The smart collector will do so calmly and intelligently. Others , perhaps just want to fill up a wall with “trophies”. I’ve heard that you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink. As for any collecting field, it’s always good to remember caveat emptor.

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fbergski
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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by fbergski » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:42 pm

Had a chance over the holiday to snap some pictures of the Nebraska and Iowa plates our family has. All collected by my grandfather over the years. Don't know the history behind any of them.

1353

1354

1355

1356


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Michael Davis
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Re: Nebraska Leather license plate Value

Post by Michael Davis » Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:35 am

Nice

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