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Sign for Fitch's Inn
about 1834
Original Owner:Originally owned by Russell Fitch , American, 1798 - 1884
Paint on pine board, smalt, iron hardware
Primary Dimensions (height x width including hardware): 34 3/4 x 32 3/4in. (88.3 x 83.2cm) Other (height x width of sign only): 21 1/4 x 32 3/4in. (54 x 83.2cm)
Credit Line: Collection of Morgan B. Brainard, Gift of Mrs. Morgan B. Brainard
Gallery Copy: Russell Fitch operated at least two inns in New London County. Stylistic comparisons to other oval signs with decorative ironwork suggest that this sign was likely made in 1834 for Fitch’s Inn in Ledyard, rather than his later one in Preston. The stylized ornament in the center is of a type found on many graphic prints in the 1830s and 1840s.
Description: Images: Ornamental design, centered on board. No underlying imagery. Text: On both sides, inside top of oval, "R. FITCH.", inside bottom of oval, "INN". No underlying text. Construction: Thick, single board, grain oriented horizontally, cut into oval shape. The board is one of the thickest in the collection (1-3/8" thick). Board is wrapped by a ¼" strip of oak or ash banding attached to outer edges with nails set in decorative patterns. Wrought iron decorative coils are nailed to the top and bottom edges of the sign.
Technique Note: Faint oval layout lines define the upper and lower boundaries of the lettering, except at the sides where the "R" and "H" rise above the curve of the oval scribe line so that the name may be more easily read.
Object Number: 1961.63.22
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