This is an imitation of an enamel sign of the Greiling company.
The original signs of the Dresden cigarette factory, which was in business until 1970, are sought-after collector’s items and therefore often forged and sold at a high price as alleged ‘originals’. This “Greiling” was probably mechanically damaged, corroded by acid or water, and painted to simulate age and wear. The counterfeiters take advantage of the fact that such supposed traces of the past are regarded as signs of historical and/or material value. Only connoisseurs can distinguish real from artificial aging, for example, by the degree of curvature, the motif and the format.
Regardless of whether their biography is fake or real, things with a recognizable history make it easier for us to establish a connection to them. Along with many other things with biographies of their own the enamel sign can be viewed in “The Story of My Life. Object Biography as Concept, Method and Genre,” which is on display at the Werkbundarchiv – Museum der Dinge until September 4.