Manufactured by The Charles Shonk Compamy in Chicago in 1901 on behalf of the “Pan American Exposition Company” from Buffalo, New York; this
pre-prohibition metal lithographed serving tray was made to commemorate the World’s Fair held in Buffalo, New York in 1901.
The images on the face of the tray depict the outlines of the two Western hemisphere continents; North and South America and they are portrayed by two women holding hands to express unity. The woman symbolizing North America is dressed in a flowing pink dress with long blond hair and a colorful cap; while the South American woman is dressed in a greenish blue dress with a gold wrap around her body.
The tray is in very good condition and there is absolutely no restoration of any kind and no touch up paint to the hand painted blue field or the lithographed “gold leaf looking” print; or the lithographed figures of the continents. They are original and brightly portrayed (no fading) ; there are a few nicks here and there in the field and to the figures (see images). The border is very attractive; decorated in colors of red white and blue, with the American flag and a multiplicity of flags from participating nations. There is a gold perimeter band which is original, albeit, some usual nicks to the paint.
In addition to the stated title and manufacturing origin printing highlights on the tray, in very small writing by the interior border (see images), note; “Copyright 1899 by the Pan-American Exposition Co., mfrd by Chas. W. Shonk Co. Litho Chicago”.
Originality and condition are the markers for value, and one has to be careful of unnoted or blatant restoration. I guarantee my items, that I sell, to be as I have stated. I have examined under black light and magnifying loop, and after 40 years of dealing in vintage advertising, lithography, toys, and hand painted items, I am justly qualified to evaluate and detect defects and condition.
This would be a wonderful piece of historical Americana depicted in an advertising item. A rectangular mounting magnetic hanging bar, specially made for beer trays, is affixed to the rear of the tray for easy hanging (see image).
Dimensions: 12:” diameter x 1/2″ deep