Originally made by Littlefield Parsons Company in 1862. A very popular design. Measures 3 1/4 inches by 3 5/8 inches. Or, in photography terms, a standard sixth case.
While there are many true original specimens of this desirable case on the market, there are an abundance of fakes hitting the market as well. Popular at flea markets, online auctions, malls and shows.
The first clue to identifying the fakes is the red/brown coloration of the case material instead of the dark black of the originals. This is actually modern plastic instead of the compostie "union" material which was sometimes called Gutta Percha.
The second clue to identification of these cases is the casting mold marks next to the brass hinges. See photo and locations below:
These spherical depressions are very plain, and should be the defining give-away in your identification. If you see these mold marks, in conjunction with the red/brown coloration, they are fakes.
* * BEWARE * *