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Sign for Hinman's Inn
about 1795-1815
Original Owner:Possibly originally owned by Amos Hinman , American
Original Owner:Possibly originally owned by Aaron Hinman , American
Maker:Maker Unknown
Paint on hardwood, probably black cherry board, oak bracket, iron hardware
Primary Dimensions (height x width including hardware): 56 1/2 x 41 1/4in. (143.5 x 104.8cm) Other (height x width of sign only ): 44 1/2 x 28in. (113 x 71.1cm)
Credit Line: Collection of Morgan B. Brainard. Gift of Mrs. Morgan B. Brainard
Gallery Copy: The most notable feature of this sign is its curved frame, which wraps around the oval signboard. Although the majority of surviving oval or shield-shaped signboards date to the 1810s, the form is known in New England as early as 1795. This sign still has its original supporting beam attached, showing how early tavern signs were displayed. The shaped end of the beam would project out; the flat end would be mounted to a tall post or the side of the building.
Description: Images: On both sides, a radiant sun with facial features, centered on an oval panel. No underlying imagery. Construction: Single board, cut into smooth-edged oval shape, with flat horizontal rails and turned posts. The board is oriented vertically and is attached with wooden dowels to the centerpoints of the rails and posts. Rails are cut from single boards, with shaped profiles on both edges, joined to posts with offset, double tenons mortised into posts and secured with wooden pins. Surface: The yellow pigment used for the sun has been identified as a pale litharge-based color, probably Patent or Montpellier's yellow used by house painters until the introduction of Chrome Yellow around 1815; the background was white, now largely worn off. Both sides display centering holes and compass arcs used to lay out the sun's disk, with divider holes marking the spacing of rays. The name banner, with white letters on a black band, resembles work on later signs, as the Sign for Wightman's Inn, about 1815-24.
Inscription: On side 1, in banner above sun, "A. Hinman."; in banner below sun, "Inn." On side 2, in banner above sun, "A. Hinmans,"; in banner below sun, "Inn."
Object Number: 1961.63.31
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