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18th Century Painted Wooden Boot Maker's Trade Sign
We love trade signs and this is the earliest one we have handled. Based on the design and condition we put this one firmly in the 1700's.
The size is diminutive at 20" wide by 19 1/2" tall. It was originally made from two boards fastened to two horizontal battens with early square nails driven through the sign and clenched to the back of the battens. Based on the weight, grain and worm damage we believe the wood to be chestnut.
The design is a tall boot in the center, flanked by short boots or shoes on either side. There are on a "tombstone" shaped field with a brown and gold "rope" border, accented by a red stripe. The tombstone field is on a green background. The panel was painted on the sides, as well, which suggests it was displayed without any additional framing.
The paint is about 50% and the joint between the two boards has widened over the years through shrinkage.
We like the look of this piece as is but suggest that it could be stunning with careful restoration.
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