Almost all of the brass belt buckles claimed to be made by (or for) the famed Tiffany & Company, Wells Fargo, A.J. Nash, E. Gaylord, et al, that regularly appear on eBay are fakes that were manufactured as part of the great Bogus Buckle Hoax that first subjected naive collectors of American memorabilia to one the greatest antique scams ever perpetrated upon the antiques market.
These buckles first trickled into the United States during the early 1960's (and certainly not before that) and featured "Civil War" themes. This was designed to play upon the emotions of collectors commemorating the first centennial of that war. As that centenary passed, interest in these fake buckles began to wane and the maker of these buckles, an Englishman by the name of John Fairchild, decided to continue his scam by manufacturing equally fascinating (and yet also clearly fraudulent) buckles with less time-restricting themes (i.e., a good way to continue ripping off collectors). In addition, the first (of two) books was released to "document" these fakes. That book, Tiffany & Gaylord Express & Exhibition Belt Plates, was alleged to have been "written" by Percy Seibert and had a bogus publication date of 1950: an equally bogus publisher by the name of "Reeses Press" listed on the copyright page.
The Seibert book was filled with so many fraudulent "facts" and other nonsense that it was quickly revealed as a scam by J. Duncan Campbell, an expert on accoutrements who worked as a consultant for the Smithsonian Institution. Campbell was obviously outraged by the fact that the Seibert pook plagiarized materials which he had written for the 1963 publication by the Smithsonian thirteen years AFTER the Siebert book claims to have been printed (it really first appeared twenty years later - circa 1970).
Because Siebert's book was never copyrighted (it would have left the real "author" liable to enormous lawsuits), Campbell reprinted it in full, under the title, Old Buckles of the New West and added considerable information debunking the bogus buckle scam.
Campbell's book, while difficult to come by, remains one of the best known sources (there are others) on the bogus buckle scam. Sadly, it too is long out of print and is easiestly obtained through inter-library loans.
Due to the popularity of the fake Tiffany & Company bogus Buckles, along with the fact that the "original fakes" (more on that in a moment) were well-manufactured (although, as Campbell first pointed out, there are a huge number of very stupid historical and other mistakes found on these buckles), they have continued to be marketed as "antiques" to this day. Unscrupulous (or simply naive) eBay sellers continue to label them with such glowing terms as "vintage antiques with a beautiful patina." One antiques expert; however, suggested that the "beautiful patina" on these bogus buckles (they were all artificially aged) had been created by soaking them in animal urine.
In a further attempt to bolster sales, a "catalog" of these bogus buckles, was allegedly published by "Tiffany & Co., London, England" - another company that never existed: the only "Tiffany & Co." is the famous American firm. That book was entitled "Accoutrement Belt Plates" and appears to contain most (but certainly not all) of the different types of fake buckles attributed to Tiffany.
While it is still possible to obtain all of the aforementioned books, some of them (especially the fake Seibert book and its companion, Accoutrement Belt Plates) often sell for exorbitant prices and are usually offered as being "genuine" - nothing, however could be farther from the truth.
In order to help stop the ongoing scam (which has been greatly aided over the years by sales on eBay which have helped promote the notion that these buckles are "genuine"), both the Siebert and "Accoutrement Belt Belts" books have been reprinted, along with the addition of prefaces
and other material designed to expose the fraud of the buckle scam. Those books are entitled, Accoutrement Belt Belts: Exposed! and Tiffany & Gaylord Express & Exhibition Belt Plates: Exposed! and were edited by Jeff La Marca, the creator of the Bogus Buckles web site.