Exceptional 19th century American trade sign with large cluster of hand-carved grapes, original iron hanger, early paint and gilding. Striking from every perspective, this unique example of early advertising directed passersby to a wine merchant’s shop or vineyard.
Happily, the body of the sign has not been restored; the original curled ironwork hanger has been repainted more than once over the years. Today, the sign bears mellow age-appropriate losses: the gilding, in places, less gleaming than when new, while more weathered portions reveal the original red pigment traditionally applied beneath gilt work.
To display the piece in its current location--without impinging upon the integrity of the 19th century workmanship--a local artisan created a detachable steel hanger allowing us to suspend the sign and its iron hanger from a wooden post. (Alternative suspension methods are possible.)
Wine Merchant's Trade Sign, 19th century
Height: 48 in. Width: 23 in.