I was told by the owner of this piece that it an antique Candy Shop Sign. But, I think it is a piece of art. It is carved from wood, painted and gold leafed. the label on the back reads: Candy Shop "Tetsu-Ame" 72-244 It is 32" x 24" x 3"
Purchased from an antique dealer in Sausalito.CA
Thank you for submitting your item for appraisal. This appears to be a late Meiji period shop sign, carved and lacquered wood, partly gilt, inscribed 飴 鐵 and with a firefly as a registered trade mark. The first laws regarding protection of products date back to early japanese history, but modern Japan first introduced trademark regulations in 1884 with several later amandments. The round shop sign in your possession is highly decorative, a perfect combination of chinese / japanese characters and the geometric round. The estimate is based on recent auction results. As always "asking prices" in the trade are much higher and can vary.