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Sign for Daniel Loomis's Inn
about 1820
Original Owner:Originally owned by Daniel Loomis Jr. , American, 1765 - 1835
Paint on pine board and moldings, smalt, gold leaf; iron hardware
Primary Dimensions (height x width including hardware): 45 1/8 x 57 3/8in. (114.6 x 145.7cm) Other (height x width of sign only ): 43 7/8 x 57 3/8in. (111.4 x 145.7cm)
Credit Line: Collection of Morgan B. Brainard, Gift of Mrs. Morgan B. Brainard
Gallery Copy: On each side of this sign, a cannon, rifle, and sword (weapons associated with the artillery, infantry, and cavalry) flank the seals of the United States and State of Connecticut. Cannon balls appear in two stacks on the bottom. In colonial and early 19th-century America, tavern keepers tended to be prominent officers in the local militia, as suggested by the use of this symbolic imagery.
Description: Image: on side 1: eagle with Connecticut state seal, 21 stars, and military gear; on side 2, eagle with U.S. seal and 22 stars, and military gear. Text: on both sides: in banner curving through lower part of image, "DANIEL LOOMIS" Construction: Three boards, grain oriented horizontally, joined with splines or featherboards set in grooves. Applied moldings are nailed to the outer edges of board. The ends of the top and bottom moldings are cut to the shape of the inside contour of the side moldings, so that the side moldings can slide over the ends as the large signboard expands and contracts across the grain with changes in humidity (see fig. 18). No structural frame; no skirt or pediment.
Technique Note: Heavily weathered, with approximately 50% paint loss, especially to the gray background, leaving the image slightly raised. The cannon barrel projecting into the composition from the side is an unusual feature. Several elements on side 1 appear to be later repaintings of earlier designs, including the smalt treatment and a sloppy application of red paint to the name banner. The vines in the Connecticut seal may have originally been gilded. The leaf size of the gold sheets used for gilding is evident on the eagle. The two eagles were probably laid out with a template, although slight variations are visible; strips in the shield on side 2 were marked off in equal widths with dividers. Historical Note: Original location. The Loomis inn was located about seventeen miles east of Hartford, along the Providence turnpike (now Rt. 44).
Object Number: 1961.63.34
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