Black Americana Range Shakers CopiedBy Mark Chervenka
Black Americana Range Shakers Copied
Some of the best figural shakers in the field of black memorabilia were made by Pearl China. The most expensive Pearl shakers are the range-size male chef and female cook. Because of the value of originals, this set has been a favorite target for reproductions.
The first reproductions of these shakers were made in the early 1990s. In spring 2004, an improved version of the shakers (Fig. 1) appeared. Although they are better quality, the new pieces are still fairly easy to separate from the originals if you know what to look for.
The quickest way to identify the reproductions is to look at the holes in the base where original shakers were filled with salt or pepper. Filling holes in original range sized shakers are nearly 1-inch in diameter and are smooth rimmed, nearly perfect circles. Filling holes in reproductions are rough, irregular and often only about the size of a dime (Figs. 2-4).
Trim on original shakers – like the whites of eyes and red lips–were applied with paint over the glaze. Those details on the reproductions are under the glaze (Figs. 5-8). Original figures are always one-quarter to one-half inch larger than the reproductions (Figs. 9-10).
New range-size shakers wholesale for $12.50 per set. They are available in two colors: pale yellow and turquoise. Original Pearl China range-size sets can sell for $125-$155; original gold trimmed pieces may bring more.