n May 2017 Ebay seller pinkocelot from Poughkeepsie, New York, USA was trying to sell this Wake Island plate.
For those of you who don’t know, there was a California „collector“, J. D. Applegate, in the 1980s and 1990s who sold hundreds of plates from rare jurisdictions, that he had made himself in his garage. He eventually admitted he was making the plates that he sold and did stop. Most of those hundreds of plates he made are still in collections. He often sold plates with fake authentication letters that he had typed himself with fake signatures.
Whether pinkocelot bought this plate from Applegate or has bought an old collection I have no idea but this plate appears on one of JDA’s sales lists from 1994 that he used to mail out to people with drawings on.
All of JDA’s fake plates are crudely made, often painted or stencilled on old scraps of steel, rubber, wood or plastic, nearly always from small islands and other almost impossible to get jurisdictions and often with extra drawings, stickers and other embellishments. Some of his plates came from islands that had no registrations or even vehicles. Sadly, because nobody realized he was selling fakes, they even ended up in the ALPCA archives as real plates. It was only later they were proved to be fakes and yet some are still in the ALPCA archives which just confuses everything.
Be very, very careful of old hand painted plates that come up for sale, especially now that some old collections are being sold from dead collector’s estates.
Ask yourself, is it worth hundreds of dollars for me to take a chance that I am maybe buying a fake made in a California garage and that is worth nothing at all? This is especially true of sellers like pinkocelot who is starting to appear on this website rather a lot.