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Sign for Harrington's Inn
1833
Paint on pine board, gold leaf, iron hardware
Primary Dimensions (height x width including hardware): 39 1/2 x 57 1/8in. (100.3 x 145.1cm) Other (height x width of sign only): 35 7/8 x 57 1/8in. (91.1 x 145.1cm)
Credit Line: Collection of Morgan B. Brainard, Gift of Mrs. Morgan B. Brainard
Gallery Copy: Patriotic symbols like those on this sign—the spread-winged eagle holding arrows in one talon and an olive branch in the other, with stars sprinkled above—were common in the early Republic. Having a uniform visual language of symbols helped create a unified national identity and expressed shared ideals, and it makes sense that innkeepers and tavern sign painters adopted this imagery. Unlike in other signs, the number of stars—15—does not correspond to the number of states at the time this sign was made.
Description: Images: On both sides, eagle with head down and wings spread, centered on board beneath eleven stars, with four additional stars in volutes at corners of sign. No underlying imagery. Text: On both sides, below eagle, top line, "S, HARRINGTON.", bottom line, "1833". No underlying text. Construction: Three thick boards, with edges sawn to create decorative profiles on all four edges. No moldings, no structural frame, no pediment or skirt
Technique Note; The background is black. Faint halos of gold deposits are evident, especially around stars. Stencils were used to lay out the letters between scribed guidelines. The numeral "8" may be stenciled upside-down.
Object Number: 1961.63.28
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