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 Post subject: Unusual engraving.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 6:07 am • #  
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I attach a photo of a "Mitchell" engraving I've not seen before.

The reel has serial no. 1133347.

JF.


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual engraving.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:57 am • #  
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Jeremy,
Maybe, I'm overlooking something, but it just looks like that paint around the "M" didn't attach very well. It looks like there may a couple other places around the engraving where the same thing may happen.IMHO

Ted Lanham


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual engraving.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 11:16 am • #  
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Ted,

You might well be right. I can't make my mind up.

Under a magnifying glass it looks very precise and deliberate and the colour is gold.

One of those Mitchell mysteries.

JF.


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual engraving.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:06 pm • #  
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IMHO some paint has flaked off...I've seen similar occurrences...


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual engraving.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:24 am • #  
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Hi Sandman,

It would be helpful to see photos of reels where the paint has flaked off to give this effect.

I gave the cover plate a good de-grease this morning and, together with a friend, examined it very carefully. It looks to us that the engraving has been done in this way deliberately. I attach another photo which shows that the engraving contains gold paint, presumably applied under the black.

The question I meant to ask originally is whether anyone else has seen a reel engraved like this. I can't imagine only one reel would have been finished in this way.

The absence of "Fair Traded" on the box suggests the reel was originally sold in Europe. I bought it in the UK.

In all other respects the reel is standard.

JF.


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual engraving.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:27 am • #  
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To me, it does not look like the area in question is as deep as the engraved lettering. Can you feel any difference in depth with a fingernail?

I agree with the previous opinions of paint flaking off.


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual engraving.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:15 am • #  
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JF,

It will be interesting to see photos from other Mates’ reels with such chipping.

In regard to the gold-colored paint, does it have the sparkly (also grainy) look typical for metallic paints because they contain fine grains/particles of metal? (It’s hard to imagine why a primer would have metal particles.)

Can we agree the esthetics of the final product are not good? (It’s hard to imagine why Mitchell would want to distract from their trademark.)

Therefore, my favorite possible explanation is the fisherman was trying to reduce the chance of further chipping or possible corrosion. Then why gold? It’s what he had on hand or maybe he thought it would be amusing. It was a revered tool to him, not necessarily a collectible to accurately preserve. Some fishermen did carry red fingernail polish in their tackle boxes to touchup spoons that had chipped paint. Maybe this guy was carrying gold touchup paint.

John


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual engraving.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:30 pm • #  
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John, I don't have photos of what I've similarly observed...and I don't recall if the goldish color and texture was the same...to me, it certainly doesn't look factory intentional, maybe that's already concluded...that said, I've seen may different types of factory defects, especially on early reels, that have surprised me coming out of the the high quality Mitchell factories...both cosmetically and mechanically...and of course, as you state, could be some sort of an owner modification...

Sandman


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual engraving.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:44 pm • #  
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Dear Bonaventure and John,

Many thanks for your interest. Let me say straightaway that I am not invested in any particular narrative. It's just intriguing.....

The area is too small to test with a fingernail.

I would class the reel as mint unused. The second photo I posted was taken with flash which highlights imperfections invisible to the naked eye. In the flesh the aesthetics are very good, and it does not look at all touched-up. The first photo gives a better indication, but I took a picture with flash to highlight the gold colour.

The gold paint has a matt, textured appearance and is in the entire engraving; not just the "chips".

I think anyone looking at the reel would say the engraving is original. My better half has a brutally keen eye and she thinks it is correct!! Having said that, if it is original there must be other examples out there. Hence my question to the members.

I am more familiar with early reels and attach photos of the chipping which is common. I do have about 50 later reels and I have never seen chipping in this area in later full-bail reels in the condition of the subject reel.

If I ever get to the bottom of it, I will report back.

JF.


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual engraving.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:27 pm • #  
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This is really interesting. I am certainly not an expert on Mitchells,
far from it, but looking at the picture, I would say it is highly unlikely that a previous owner did this because it is to neatly done.
There doesn't appear to be any run over at all into the original Mitchell engraving and most people don't take the time to be that fussy.

It is odd that one of the areas is very straight across the top where the spot ends, and the other isn't. If you run your finger nail from the discolored area up to the black paint can you feel an edge ?
Is that edge higher or lower than the black paint ?
If it's higher than the black paint it is definitely something that was applied, if it is lower, than it is more than like an area where as some have already mentioned, the original paint didn't stick.

If the paint did come off, then is it something that was purposely very neatly applied to try and protect the exposed metal, or is
it simply a case that the exposed metal over time turned an odd color ?
Granted, it wasn't on fishing reels, but I've seen some exposed metal over the years that because of metallurgy impurities or changes in the composition, turned colors that normally wouldn't be expected, or it's even possible something was on the exposed metal that caused it to turn colors.

I certainly don't know for sure, I'm just tossing out possible reasons.


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual engraving.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:19 am • #  
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Dear Mike,

Thanks for your interest.

The gold in the "chips" is definitely lower than the surrounding black paint. Also, if the gold was touch-in, I would expect it to be on the cut edge of the black paint where it meets the gold : it isn't.

The lettering contains the same gold paint which suggests to me that the gold paint was first applied to the area of the engraving and the black paint was then applied over. It doesn't show well in the photos, but at the very beginning of the under-lining, for maybe 1 m.m. the engraving tool cut through the gold and into the aluminium below.

The only way to be sure would be to scrape off black paint around the engraving and check for gold below.

I'm 99% certain the reel left the factory in it's present condition, and so are others who have seen it. I'm not keen on hypothesising, but will do so anyway. Assuming no similar reels turn up, I see 2 possibilities. Firstly, it was an experimental engraving. This begs the question how did the reel come into the public domain. Secondly, a worker did it on his own reel in the lunchbreak. I collect ceramics, and it is not unusual to come across unusual variations that workers made in their spare time.

If nothing else, it's an interesting conversation piece.

I attach normal photos of the reel and the engraving looks very good. I actually prefer it to the standard one.

Kind regards,

JF.


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual engraving.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:40 am • #  
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I had thought that the gold colour looks like it could be a Conversion Coating, like Alodine or Iridite. These products are applied to Aluminum Alloy as a corrosion preventative.

This is a common practice in the Aerospace Industry. It may have been used for a period in the manufacture of Mitchell reels, or by an owner with access to these sorts of product. I have had access to them myself in the past.


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual engraving.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:15 am • #  
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Hi JF,
Interesting photo's of your nice reel. The engraving certainly looks original to me. The chipping is somewhat uncommon as discussed. As far as the gold color, I would be tempted to very gently clean the small area with warm water and mild soap. See if maybe the reel was once waxed and the wax turned yellowish over time. Just my thought.
Best regards, Dennis2149


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual engraving.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:18 am • #  
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Dear Bonaventure and Dennis2149,

Under a magnifying glass it certainly looks like gold paint. If it wasn't such an unusual reel, I would remove some paint to be sure, but I don't want to cause un-necessary damage.

I had the same thought as you Dennis, and I cleaned the engraving with white spirit and soapy water in case it was dis-colouration by old hardened grease or wax. It wasn't.

Going off at a tangent, I wonder if Bonaventure is on to something with engravings in general. My understanding is that from late 2nd. versions onwards the engraving was simply cut through the black paint into the aluminium. If this was the case, one would expect the aluminium to dull and darken over time and become indistinct. In fact this doesn't happen, and the "Mitchell" generally remains very bright and silver/white. My eyesight isn't the best, but I always thought there was some paint in there, but more experienced collectors assure me that isn't the case.

Perhaps, as Bonaventure suggests, the engraving is treated with some sort of sealant to avoid dulling.

Going off on another tangent, the very earliest Mitchells were engraved before painting and Mitchell contains black paint with white over.

My thanks to you both,

JF.


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