Skip navigation
Sign for Gordon's Inn
1790-1820
Paint on yellow pine board and moldings
Primary Dimensions (height x width including hardware): 35 x 29 3/8in. (88.9 x 74.6cm) Other (height x width of sign only): 29 x 24 5/8in. (73.7 x 62.5cm)
Credit Line: Collection of Morgan B. Brainard, Gift of Mrs. Morgan B. Brainard
Gallery Copy: This cheery sign evokes hospitality as few others do. The small picture of the man with the large punch bowl, wine glasses, and ladle is accompanied by text: “Gentlemen you are / welcome sit down / at your ease, / Pay what you call for / & drink what you / please.” The verse is unknown on any other American tavern sign. The reverse of this sign features a man standing with a plate of oysters, a knife, and fork.
Description: Images: On side 1, a standing male figure, with punch bowl, wine glass, and ladle. On side 2, a standing male figure with plate of oysters, knife, and fork. Text: On side 1, interspersed with punch bowl image, "Gentlemen you are / welcome sit down / at your ease, / Pay what you call for / & drink what you / please"; in black band below image, "WILM. GORDON" over "WILM. Spalding". On side 2, interspersed with oyster plate image, "Here I stand / in wind & rain / True blue will never / stain"; in black band below image, " WILM. GORDON". Construction: Two boards, grain oriented vertically, joined with tongue-and-groove joint. Encased within moldings, mitered at corners, that are nailed to the edges of board. No structural frame, no pediment or skirt. Wood used on the central panel is from the southern yellow pine group; identified by analysis (Hoadley, March 2000).
Technique Note: Side 2 retains its original surface, with severe paint loss making the rhyme almost indecipherable. Side 1 was substantially repainted, with rather bright colors, probably in the 20th century, evidently following the outlines of the existing design. On side 1, the white paint comprising Wilm. Gordon's name, together with the associated black background layer, is extremely soluble, suggesting application much later than the underlying layer; however, the name Wilm. Gordon also appears on side 2, where it is not repainted, and as heavily weathered as the image. Scribe lines are visible on both sides as guides for lettering. The rhymes are lettered in black, against a white ground.
Object Number: 1961.63.24
Currently On View
Send to a Friend