[N.p., likely Providence, R.I. ca. 1900]. Centrally-mounted watercolored lithograph with calligraphed marginal text in red and blue ink. Unrelated painted sign for a tailor's shop on verso. Artist's board, 13 1/2 x 20 3/4 inches. Minor dust- soiling and toning, edges and corners somewhat worn, some surface wear, including portion of title with removed tape scar, light dampstaining. Very good. Item #WRCAM54837
An eye-catching advertising board, likely a mock up, for a Rhode Island tobacconists. The full text reads: "After Dinner Enjoyment - Fine Cigars. The Celebrated Brands. Robert Bruce Capt. Marryat. The Falconers. Genl. Arthur Cigars. Geo. F. Young & Bro. 29 Westminster St. Prov. R.I." Established in 1854, Geo. F. Young & Bro. appears from a surviving photograph in the Providence Public Library archives, to have been the quintessential American tobacconist. With two full bay windows of display and a wooden "cigar store Indian" sculpture positioned between the double doorway, it is easy to see how the composite attractions of maritime penman Captain Marryat and Scottish freedom fighter Robert the Bruce - with a bit of horseback falconing thrown in for good measure - would fit the brand identity of such an establishment. The artist, W.H. Coe, is likely the same Providence based namesake of a company to have later patented a "gilding wheel" device for rolling gold leaf onto signs and surfaces. The verso of this board shows a re- used mock-up for another local business, James Murphy, Merchant Taylor, also signed by Coe, and demonstrating further his capabilities as a sign artist. A well-used relic of a bygone era of tobacco advertising, with character to burn.