Trade signs are a favorite of mine. There are two requirements when collecting trade signs: adequate display space (as they can be very large) and a big pocketbook. The pocketwatch above displays beautifully over a fireplace mantel. It comes from the L.R. Poe jewlery store in Eaton, Ohio, and was no doubt hung outside the shop. It is two-sided, so that customers walking down the sidewalk from either direction could see the sign hanging over the entranceway. The face of the "watch" is made of galvanized tin with painted black detailing. The outside of the "watch" is encircled with embossed iron, making the piece extremely heavy. Typical of watch trade signs from the late 1800s, the time is set at 8:17, the time of Abraham Lincoln's death.
This cigar sign is a most unusual and desirable piece of advertising now in my son's collection. It is turned carved and painted to simulate tobacco leaf and the ash and ember of a lit cigar. The highly stylized lettering done in silver powder suggests that the piece was carved and painted by a professional in a metropolitan area.
Silver lettering with traces of gold or chrome yellow silhouette the outside edges against a tobacco leaf brown ground; the flame end painted an ashen gray with wisps of trailing smoke and a ring of hot red for heat. Measures 44 1/4 inches long. In excellent condition. It no doubt originally hung inside the tobacco shop and was never exposed to the elements.
Although technically not a "trade" sign, this Charity sign from an Odd Fellows lodge outside of Cleveland does fall into that category. It fits perfectly over the door frame. The oxblood red paint and gold gilt are still in wonderful condition. Although not pictured, two ornamental door mouldings flank either side of the doorway under the Charity sign, one showing a skull, and the other the famous Odd Fellows heart in hand design. In original untouched condition, they are eight feet tall and come out of an Odd Fellows Lodge in Dubuque, Iowa.
This wooden sign hung outside the Lower South Hotel in South Amana, Iowa, sometime during the 1930s. The house was later the Setzer/Ruff residence. My son, who lives in the Amanas, was thrilled to have found it. In original unrestored condition with wonderful surface.
This trade sign no doubt hung over the doorway of a butcher shop in Gemany in the 1800s. Made of copper and decorated with a brass hatchet and knife, it was exposed to the elements, but the wrought iron bracket and copper pig are still in very good condition and it displays beautifully in my son's kitchen.
Welcome to Living Tastefully’s “Antique of the Week” page. Our love of antiques is reflected in every aspect of our everyday lives. We are passionate about collecting and also love functional antiques that can actually be used and not only admired. Hopefully we can inspire you to incorporate antiques in your home and your life to add charm and beauty to your surroundings.