Black Memorabilia Country Store Collectible CopiedBy Mark Chervenka
Black Country Store Collectible Copied
Some of the most popular pieces of Black memorabilia were made for and used by the 19th century firm of Masons Blacking. The colorful lithographs on many products and packaging feature Victorian images of Blacks Americans shining shoes. A wooden box that copies an original counter top display is now reproduced including the full color paper labels.
The new boxes made of solid wood appear very similar to old and feature dovetail jointed corners. A hook and eye type wire hinge loosely attaches the lid to the box also like the old pieces. Labels are attached to the inside of the lid and the front of the box. Labels and the box have been distressed to give them a look of age. Overall dimensions, 11″ L X 5″ H X 7 ½″ W.
The paper labels can be detected by the modern dot pattern they were printed with. Original labels were lithographed and do not show the dot pattern. An easier way to detect the new labels is with black light. The modern paper they are printed on fluoresces bright white under long wave black light. Look for the fluorescence along the edges of the labels or where ever the printed surface is scratched or torn from "antiquing".
Authentic examples once sold for around $75-$125; the new reproduction sold for around $39 retail.