The Hubley Manufacturing Company began in 1894 and produced cast iron toys and household objects such as bookends and doorstops. The products were painted by hand, which has raised the value with collectors who prize the items for their uniqueness and history. Because of the popularity of Hubley doorstops with collectors, replicas are available in the market but there are a few techniques to correctly identify an authentic Hubley doorstop.
Consider the age of the item. While some antique doorstops are in excellent condition, the paint should look older and appropriate for the time period, with some small chipping of paint. If the item looks brand new or repainted, it is probably not an authentic Hubley doorstop. There should be signs of wear in logical places, at the top and base of the doorstop.
Pick up the doorstop, if possible, and feel the metal. Authentic Hubleys will feel smooth to the touch, not rough or bumpy. The quality of the metalwork on Hubley items was high and attention was paid to detail.
Examine the casting seams, which should be tight, and the screws, which should be slotted screws. If Phillips-head screws are on the piece, it is probably a reproduction.
Look for signs that the mold marks were filed by hand instead of by power tools, which leave grind marks that are broader and coarser. If there is evidence of power tool use, the item is not an authentic Hubley doorstop.
Turn the doorstop over and look for a 3-digit number inscribed on the bottom. This number is indicative that the item is an authentic Hubley and is a detail that many reproductions miss.
Meredith Jameson writes early childhood parenting and family health articles for various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from San Francisco State University.