Below is information from a forum post written back in 2002 regarding a phony monkey automaton. The post was written by Jere Ryder of AutaMusique, Ltd. in Summit, NJ.
He reports that in recent years there has been an influx of deceptively old-looking automata into the international marketplace. These are not restored pieces, but fakes.
These automata have some elements in common:
1 - They are purposely constructed so as to prevent internal inspection.
2 - Most have a fairly large, old-looking maker's label glued to the rear panel. Some of these are quite ingenious and convincing.
3 - A variety of older materials may be used in the automaton, but hidden parts contain modern materials such as new pine, particle-board, and modern synthetic fibers.
4 - Many are driven by a simple, small, 1-tune, 18-note Sankyo musical movement.
Here is the link to the original article on the Fake Monkey Automatons.