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The Cardullo's Gourmet Shoppe sign in place for the past 50 years is being replaced with an awning. (Photo: Alex Barth)

The Cardullo’s Gourmet Shoppe sign in place for the past 50 years is being replaced with an awning. (Photo: Alex Barth)

A piece of Cardullo’s Gourmet Shoppe history was literally uncovered by surprise Tuesday as the 64-year-old Harvard Square shop prepared to replace its 50-year-old sign: an even older sign.

“This morning, when removing the sign that has hung above the Shoppe for over 50 years, a true treasure was found,” Marc Cardullo said.

The shop is switching to an awning after a little more than 50 years with the vintage-looking, illuminated but faded red-on-white cursive sign stretching across its 6 Brattle St. storefront. The shop had cleared all the hurdles set by the city and began taking down the sign in preparation for the awning installation, Cardullo said.

And there it was: an even more faded blue-on-white cursive sign for Cardullo’s Delicatessen, which owner Francesca Cardullo identified as the store’s original from 1950.

It’s truly “historic,” she said, especially as the store celebrates its 64th year in business this month, but she’s looking forward, not past, with a goal of “continually updating and improving the store.”

Cardullo’s still has its deli counter (including its Catherine the Great sandwich – Sevruga caviar and crème fraiche on a baguette for only $130), but has evolved over the years to be a source for expats and gourmands looking for teas, chocolate, wine, Champagne, specialty beers and hard-to-find foods from around the country and overseas.

This post took significant amounts of material from a press release.