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  FIGURAL OPTOMETRIST TRADE SIGN, DIMINUTIVE SIZE, GILDED METAL AND HAND-BLOWN, COLORED GLASS
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FIGURAL OPTOMETRIST TRADE SIGN, DIMINUTIVE SIZE, GILDED METAL AND HAND-BLOWN, COLORED GLASS:

This optometrist trade sign, made from gilded zinc and colored, hand-blown glass, dates to the fourth quarter of the 19th century. Both the form and the size are unusually attractive. The diminutive, hollow-bodied frame is less than twenty inches wide, which is significantly smaller than most signs of this type that I have encountered. The worn, gilded surface has great patination and the glass is significantly wavy. Both lenses are red, which is also unusual, one slightly darker than the other. They show no sign of replacement, but rather demonstrate the variation in the hand-made, hand-colored glass. But what's really interesting is the nose brace, the arms of which are curiously shaped like the folded wings of angels. While this may not be so apparent to the average observer, the form is rather unmistakable to anyone who is familiar with the winged Father Time figures perched on either side of a rather rare and beautiful form of Seth Thomas watch sign. It is possibly the signs were produced by the same craftsman, but more important is the fact that the watch-maker and optometrist were shared professions in early America. A man would likely be jeweler, clock-maker, and the maker of spectacles. Figural trade signs were visual images to direct those who could not read, which accounted for a substantial portion of the population.

Condition: Minimal, expected wear.
   
Primary Color: gold, red
Earliest Date: 1875
Latest Date: 1900
For Sale Status: Sold
Price SOLD
E-mail: info@jeffbridgman.com
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