His height is critical as all the Wade models are of the same height.
The fakes are generally made from a mould which was itself made
from a genuine Wesley. The clay shrinks by up to 12% when it is
fired and the resultant figure is therefore smaller than the original.
The original Wesley is already 12% smaller than the original Wade
moulds. The fakes are between 5¼ and 5½ inches tall
(133mm to 140mm).
As the mould is smaller than the original and the clay body is quite
probably thinner, the weight of the fakes is considerably less than
the genuine Wesley who weighs in at around 371 gms. Fakes can weigh
as little as 200 gms, but it must be recognised that the quoted
weights are approximate and some slight variation must be expected.
However, as the difference is considerable (over 150 gms), their
weights do provide a good indication of authenticity.
As a consequence of the shrinkage, the hole in the bottom is never
the correct size and is often too large, meaning that the bung is
not a good tight fit. Conversely Wade have also noticed that in
some fakes the hole is far too small and it is difficult to fit
the original NatWest stopper. The bung must be a nice snug fit.
If Wesley is the correct weight and height be careful to check the
maximum width of the base. The widest it should be is 102mm whereas
the fakes are about 112mm wide. A lot of the latest pigs comply
with most of the criteria so make sure to check the width.
The green colour of the shirt in many of the fakes is very patchy
and brush strokes can be seen. It may be so thin that the colour
of the clay body can be seen through the green.The green shirt on
the original Wesley is a bold solid colour.
The pink glaze to the original Wesley was applied by spraying and
there will be only the very slightest, if any, of pink overspray
visible inside either of the two holes. The fakes were often partially
dipped into the pink glaze, hence parts of the inside received a
pink coloured glazing.
one of these criteria, in isolation, would prove that a Cousin Wesley
is or is not genuine. However, if most of the criteria are met (or
not as the case may be) then they can help eliminate the obvious
fakes. The only way of guaranteeing that your pig is genuine would
be to have it verified by Wade.
ON THE WEB AUCTION SITES
in mind that there were only 5,000 Cousin Wesley piggy banks ever
made, it is quite surprising to find how many are up for sale on
the auction sites at any one time. The reason could be that many
of them are not genuine.
it is quite conceivable that a first time, totally honest seller
with a poor quality camera wants to sell his Wesley in a couple
of days and doesn't care how much it sells for, you should seriously
consider, beware and have second thoughts about auctions that can
be identified with the following :-
out of focus pictures - ask for a clearer picture.
auction times - these are generally there for a quick sale.
prices - a genuine Wesley would normally sell for well over £150
if not £200.
same seller with more than a couple of Weslies up for sale over
a short period.
with zero feedback.
Wesley without a NatWest stopper - perhaps it won't fit!
sellers using the same descriptions in their auctions.
sellers with the same or very similar out of focus photographs.
ask the seller to confirm, at the very least, the height, weight
and width of base before buying a Wesley.