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Sign for Angell's Inn
1808
Original Owner:Probably originally owned by Richard Angell
Maker:Maker Unknown
Paint on pine board, iron hardware
Primary Dimensions (height x width including hardware): 28 1/2 x 17 3/4in. (72.4 x 45.1cm) Other (height x width of sign only): 28 1/2 x 17 3/4in. (72.4 x 45.1cm)
Credit Line: Collection of Morgan B. Brainard. Gift of Mrs. Morgan B. Brainard.
Gallery Copy: Although the eagle was a common motif in tavern signs, this one has a most unusual appearance, with its limp wings, scrawny feet, and heart-shaped body. The nine white and eight red stripes symbolize each of the seventeen states in the Union at the time and allude to the national seal. However, the eagle grasps not the usual arrows and olive branch, but rather a laurel branch and an anchor, the central image of the Rhode Island state seal.
Description: Images: On both sides, an eagle holding a laurel branch and anchor, centered on the signboard. No underlying images. Construction: Single board, hand-sawn to create decorative profile at top only. Applied moldings, mitered in the corners, are nailed to the faces of both sides. No structural frame. Surface: The eagle is rendered in dark red and white, with at least two paint applications. Traces of earlier lettering bleed faintly through the white background: a bold "RA" centered between the two existing lines of text, and yet another version of "R ANGELL" positioned within scribe lines below the present name. Given the naive quality of this sign painting, the maker may have redone the lettering to adjust and improve spacing of text and image.
Inscription: On both sides, in pediment, "1808", under eagle, top line, "Entertainment by", bottom line, "R ANGELL" over "RA" over "R [ANG]ELL".
Object Number: 1961.63.2
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