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Sign for Perkins's Inn
probably about 1800-1820
Original Owner:Probably originally owned by Shapley Morgan , American
Original Owner:Originally owned by Thomas T. Hazard , American, 1792 - 1874
Original Owner:Possibly originally owned by Elliot Lee Perkins , American, 1806 - 1864
Maker:Maker Unknown
Paint on pine board, smalt, gold leaf
Primary Dimensions (height x width including hardware): 47 1/4 x 28 1/4in. (120 x 71.8cm)
Credit Line: Collection of Morgan B. Brainard. Gift of Mrs. Morgan B. Brainard
Gallery Copy: The Perkins tavern stood just inside the Rhode Island border, along the Shetucket turnpike connecting Norwich and Providence. This sign probably predates 1830, but the anticipation of increased traffic from the incorporation of the turnpike in 1829 may have provided an impetus for Perkins to take up tavern-keeping and spruce up an old sign. Images of bulls were common on tavern signs and may have appealed to drovers, who were responsible for moving cattle and livestock long distances.
Description: Images: on both sides, near-profile view of brown and white bull's head, extending to edge of board on viewer's left; landscape background; no underlying images. Construction: Two boards, grain oriented vertically, set into grooved edges of flat rails and stiles. Horizontal rails are tenoned through stiles and double pinned. Thin, applied molding strips, mitered at corners, are glued to the face of the panel, along the slightly protruding edge of the frame. The pediment and skirt are separate boards, oriented horizontally and sawn to create a decorative profile at top and bottom; these boards are nailed to the top and bottom rails. Surface: Side 2 is more severely weathered. The Perkins name is stenciled in gold leaf over a black band textured with smalt. Some of this later surface survives on the green and yellow paint decoration of the pediment and skirt. The bull exhibits less wear than the painted surfaces of the frame; the image may have been repainted more recently than the name and date bands.
Inscription: Text: on both sides: on top rail, "E L PERKINS." over [T. T. Hazard] over [S. Morgan]; on bottom rail "INN"; on skirt "1830".
Object Number: 1961.63.39
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