Brass Candy Box Dated 1914By Mark Chervenka
Brass Candy Box Dated 1914
Here's yet another example of mass produced products with intentionally confusing markings. Not once but twice does the date 1914 appear on the lid of this brass candy box: very large in the center and as, "Christmas 1914" at the bottom. Around the border, appear the names of Russia, France, Japan, Serbia, Belgium, and Monte Negro. The mark on the bottom "Royal Sheffield" would suggest it was made in England.
The 5" x 3½" boxes were made in India and wholesaled by antique reproduction importers for $8. Markings suggesting old dates, well-known manufacturers and European origin have become routine on new brass made in India which includes a wide range of reproduction scientific instruments, phonographs and other items.
There is nothing wrong with legitimate reproductions, openly sold as copies and marked as such. But what is the purpose and intention of these altered dates, makers' marks and implied point of origin? If these items are purely decorative, why the dates and marks on the BOTTOM? Who looks at marks other than collectors?
Nobody is going to lose much money on this piece. It's the fact that it's perfectly legal to use old appearing marks and dates on Galle, Roseville, Nippon, R.S. Prussia, and all the other reproductions.
In 1997, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had the option to recommend that Congress extend the Hobby Protection Act to require the year of manufacture on all reproductions. The FTC refused to support the extension. The FTC's position was that current laws and current enforcement were more than adequate to address the problem of reproduction.