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Sign for Fox's Inn
about 1834
Paint on pine board, probably ash wood strapping, iron hardware
Primary Dimensions (height x width including hardware): 35 1/2 x 36 1/8in. (90.2 x 91.8cm) Other (height x width of sign only): 24 x 36 1/8in. (61 x 91.8cm)
Credit Line: Collection of Morgan B. Brainard, Gift of Mrs. Morgan B. Brainard
Gallery Copy: Many tavern signs were completely repainted or otherwise reworked over the years, making it hard to distinguish their original appearance. This sign, however, shows all of its wear. Severe weathering obliterated the bull’s horns and makes it difficult to determine whether the delicate lettering was originally carved in relief. A split in the sign was mended long ago with metal braces, and although there might have originally been metal scrolls around the outer edge, they are now missing.
Description: Images: On side 1, a bull's head and neck, centered on board. On side 2, an eagle with the arms of the United States. Text: On both sides: at top of oval board, "Entertainment.", at bottom of oval board, "Aaron Fox." Construction: Single board, grain oriented horizontally, sawn into oval shape. Applied banding with bead-molded edge is nailed to outer edge of board. This is in turn encased by iron strapping, in three sections, held by nails and screws. Ends of the top sections of the iron strapping are bent upwards to form the hanging hardware.
Technique Note: The lettering is painted yellow, with a layer of coppery green below. The bull's head is a mottled, or "pied," gray, and the lower jaw has worn off. The background color, probably off-white, has weathered away. The central images appear to be partially repainted or touched-up, especially the eagle on side 2.
Object Number: 1961.63.23
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