|c. 1890. The original was badly stained and damaged.|
In 1984 I founded Archives and began reproducing label designs on fine porcelain gumbo bowls and coffee mugs. Archives sold these products all over the US and in several countries, including Argentina, England, and France. The bowls and mugs were manufactured in and imported from Japan. I ran the business on a shoestring and was unable to survive the numerous beatings the dollar took against the yen. Once costs doubled, I was out of business.
|Gold-trimmed mugs with antique label designs.|
I've maintained this collection for almost 40 years. Most of it even managed to survive Katrina.
|Suffragette Coffee & Chicory, c. 1916, Shreveport, LA.|
Click to enlarge and read the historically and politically interesting copy.
There are approximately 500 different labels in the collection and I'm toying with the idea of selling high-quality prints.
|Woman's Club Coffee, c. 1890|
There are several reasons why this idea appeals to me more than selling original labels as I once did.
- The original labels fade badly when exposed to light.
- Many of the originals are in fragile condition. Some are stained and damaged. I can repair the damage in Photoshop.
- Prints can be sized and proportioned better for framing and display.
- Since conservation is unnecessary, framing prints is substantially less expensive than framing antiques.
- I won't run out of inventory.
- Prints are a lot more affordable than antiques.
Included here are a couple of images I recently scanned and cleaned up. These labels weren't chosen for any reason other than that they were apropos of something friends and I were discussing on Facebook.
Please leave comments letting me know what you think.