The fact that we can buy a pantographed part in a way is great so we can replace worn items like chain rings , but it's always nice to have it disclosed in the description of the item , that it is infact a new pantographed reproduction and not a one of a kind rare item that should possibly fetch a very high amount , for the trained eye of an experienced collector it's not often an issue but for a newbie it might be harder , and I think we should have the right choose if we whant our bike to be historically correct verses just attractive , case and point ebay item # 270312736138
I have "supplied" a number of pantographed stems, as well as other components for those wanting them for their bikes. The panto/engraving has all been done by a fellow in Italy who did original panto/engraving work back in the day. I reached him through a rather circuitous route and can tell you that he is officially retired and has turned down requests for similar work made by many other people. The first ones were
done using stems that he still had in stock from the 80's and 90's. When
I asked of a Ciocc stem, he sent me a few designs and wanted to know which one I wanted, the same with Motta, Merckx, Colnago, De Rosa and others. For certain other brands or new designs, he requested that I pay
to have new "cliché's" made, but he had no problems to make whatever you might want. He was also the one who did all the components and lugs on my Maasi bike: http://www.wooljersey.com/gallery/maasland/Esposito/<http://www.wooljer sey.com/gallery/v/maasland/Esposito/> which was all quite obviously made ex novo for me.
Do I feel in any way bad about this? Absolutely not.
With the possible exceptions of the frame builders who also had a fully supplied machine shops like Somec and Rauler, this was not work originally done by the frame manufacturer, nor was it anywhere near consistent in appearance. It was work done by third parties. There are many, many variations of virtually every pantographed stem and component. Some of the items for sale are obviously bogus as described by Greg Softley, like those where the work has been done on a 27.0 mm seat post where only 27.2 mm seat post were used on the particular bike,
or where 80's style shift levers were engraved with older logos, or older levers were engraved with newer logos... Other items are less readily recognizable as having been done recently. Does this make them better or worse? Does this make them more or less real? Does taking a Paramount and fitting Campagnolo brakes on it when it originally didn't have them make the bike wrong? I can assure you that the number of Paramount's that now sport Campagnolo brakes is far higher than it ever was when they left the factory or shop. The same with 1969 Masi's or Cinelli's with "no-name" Campagnolo brakes... This happens in all fields
of collecting and for many different reasons. Two examples in my own life: I used to have a 1950's Fiat Topolino that had an Abarth head for double carb, Siata acceleration cam, larger valves and other tweaks from
the period even though none of them were originally fitted to my particular car back in the day. They were however available in the day. In a world where the car was actually being driven (in my case) the added oomph was important to allow me to keep up reasonably well with modern traffic; something impossible with the original set-up. On another car I had, a Renault Alpine, I removed the original front spoiler because it prevented me from being able to enter many parking garages and only had an appreciable effect at speeds of over 180 km/h. The added high speed stability had little importance to me but the greater ease in parking was extremely relevant. The particular model I had was offered both with and without the spoiler back in the day, but photographic evidence of my car showed that it had always had the spoiler. These are both instances where regular use made the modifications desirable. For others, it is all a matter of what the collector imagines to be the ultimate collector version of the car/bike/whatever that they have. To each his own. I am certainly not the one to judge them.
As for the Colnago delta brakes that were mentioned, the description pointed out that they were truly pantographed not the cheap decals. From
my reading of the description, it did not appear that it was being stated that the work had been done in the day or by Colnago. Show both the original ones and the mirrored pantographed/engraved ones that sold to 100 Colnago owners, I can guarantee that at least 90 would prefer the
mirrored ones. They simply look much better than the chintzy decals commonly seen on Colnago's of the period. Greg Softley would in fact be able to perfectly replicate the "original" decals in no time. De Rosa, Somec, Paletti, Pinarello, Motta and many others all made pantographed/engraved delta brake covers back in the day. I would be surprised if Colnago did not also make them at least for a few show bikes. For most makers, the pantographing/engraving was more the exception than the norm.
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