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Sign for Rose's Inn
about 1813
Paint on pine board, iron hardware
Primary Dimensions (height x width including hardware): 35 5/8 x 23 1/4in. (90.5 x 59.1cm) Other (height x width of sign only): 33 1/2 x 23 1/4in. (85.1 x 59.1cm)
Credit Line: Collection of Morgan B. Brainard. Gift of Mrs. Morgan B. Brainard
Gallery Copy: The original painter of this sign, Harlan Page, had trained as a joiner but experienced a religious conversion and turned to preaching, proselytizing, and illustrating publications for the American Tract Society. Much of his work included moralistic scenes illustrating familiar maxims, like the “bird-in-hand” scene depicted here. The Masonic square and compass at the bottom of the sign may have indicated that innkeeper Horace Rose was a member, and certainly welcomed other Masons to the tavern.
Description: Images: on both sides: identical genre scene, depicting a man holding a bird, with two additional birds hidden in a large bush; the version on side 2 was repainted early in the twentieth century; at the bottom of each side is a square and compass Text: on both sides, at top of scene, "H. ROSE."; and immediately below scene, "A bird in the hand is worth / two in the bush." Construction: Three boards cut to a shield shape, oriented vertically.
Technique Note: Side 1 displays only a single layer of paint; side 2 was heavily overpainted, probably ca. 1940. A mylar overlay dawing of side 1 indicates that a template was used to replicate the entire composition, including the lettering. Historical Note: Original location. On Ripley's Hill, along the north-south road, in what was then the business section of Coventry, northeast of Wangumbaug Lake.
Inscription: On both sides, at top of scene, "H. ROSE."; and immediately below scene, "A bird in the hand is worth / two in the bush."
Object Number: 1961.63.44
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