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Sign for the Chesebro Hotel
Paint on ring-porous hardwood, possible traces of gold leaf, iron hardware
Primary Dimensions (height x width including hardware): 50 3/4 x 25 1/2in. (128.9 x 64.8cm) Other (height x width of sign only): 45 1/8 x 25 3/16in. (114.6 x 64cm)
Credit Line: Collection of Morgan B. Brainard, Gift of Mrs. Morgan B. Brainard
Gallery Copy: The shape of this sign indicates that contemporary furniture was an important design source for woodworkers who made signs. Both the shape of the bottom rail and the finials resemble furniture elements from the late 18th-early 19th century. The lettering and the squished, somewhat sloppy image resembling the Great Seal of the United States were part of an early repainting of the sign.
Description: Images: on side 1: eagle with upraised head; on side 2: eagle with downturned head; possibly an earlier image layer, now indecipherable Text: on both sides: around perimeter of board, "A. CHESEBRO / HOTEL." [over an earlier name, largly indecipherable [P. Pi_____]; on bottom rail, "1821," Construction: Single board, grain oriented vertically, cut to oval shape; single, flat horizontal rails; turned, columnar posts. Projecting tenons at top and bottom attach board to horizontal rails. The rails extend up and down to form pediment and skirt, cut at top and bottom to create decorative profiles. Rails are joined to posts with through-tenons and double pinned.
Technique Note: The Chesebro name and eagle decoration are later repainting campaigns over another image that is no longer decipherable. The lettering is yellow and more skillfully executed than the image, which is sloppily painted, in yellow, black, red, blue, and white on a black background. The 1821 date is raised above surface, from weathering, possibly carving, or a combination of the two, and most likely records the year the sign was originally made. Underlying letters [P. Pi___] are painted in large script lettering along scribed guidelines.
Object Number: 1961.63.15
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