New Globe-Wernicke stack bookcase labelsBy Mark Chervenka
New Globe-Wernicke stacking bookcase labels
New labels for Globe-Wernicke stacking bookcases were sold in online auctions. The reproduction labels, which are direct copies of authentic originals, have been sold since at least April, 2002.
New labels are described by sellers as being made in the same size, color and paper as originals and are available for several sizes of bookcases.
Sarah Campbell, currently in the process of researching Globe-Wernicke products for a book, shared some tips on how to spot new labels.
"If you find a case with a suspect label, look for signs of natural aging especially dust, grime and patination on the interior metal mechanism. Check for labels on the removable base and top sections since authentic Globe-Wernicke top and base labels specified "top" and "base" units," advises Campbell.
New labels are self-adhesive with peel off backings. Virtually all similar new adhesive labels have edges that fluoresce, or glow, under longwave black light. Even when the new labels are applied, the exposed edges are all that is necessary to run a black light test. The usual color of fluorescence is bright white but that can vary. Genuinely old paper labels on almost any product made before the mid-1950s virtually never fluoresce. The only way to defeat the black light test would be to cover the new label with the same varnish or finish found on the wood.
The stacking glass front bookcase, commonly called a lawyer's or barrister's bookcase, was patented in 1892 by Otto Wernicke. His company merged with Globe Files in 1900 to form Globe-Wernicke, which became the most widely known manufacturer of stacking bookcases. Globe-Wernicke made stacking wood bookcases until 1955. The firm was sold about the same time and is no longer in business.