Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Post 333: ten of my favourite ghost signs

To mark my 333rd post, here is a selection of some of my favourite ghost signs, taken from the ones already presented on this blog. I must admit, even if I am particularly fond of some, this isn't an easy exercise and the list keeps on changing regularly. Click on the pictures below to visit the relevant posts and read more about each sign.

- The building at the corner of San Ignacio and Obrapía in Havana for the design of its different adverts, especially the Enxebre one, and what these signs tell us about Cuban society before 1959. Always tops my list.
- Bryant & May, Croydon, for its colours and the fine drawing of the swan on the match box.
- Peterkin's Custard, Clapham Junction, for the unique drawing of the cheeky-looking kid (but certainly not for the product itself, according to testimonies given at the 1926 trial).
- The Swan Hotel, Bradford-on-Avon, for its elaborate lettering.
- 2 Little Crown, Soho, for the drawings and what it tells us about the history of that part of London.
- Hairdressing salon, Meissen, for the attractive early 20th century lettering on blue background and the unusual Puppenarbeiten.
- George Clark & Son's Breakfast Food, Mornington Crescent, for the challenge of identifying the product advertised there.
- Dubonnet, Chanier, a French classic, for the ability of the sign writer to paint an advert on a surface as uneven as rubble stones.
- The Temperance Permanent Building Society, Richmond and Lewisham, for the drawing of the house as well as the significance of suburbia and the importance of the co-operative movement in 20th century Britain.
- Unión de Jóvenes Comunistas, Havana, for the omnipresence and role of political propaganda in Cuba.

Enxebre, Havana

Let me know what you think of that selection. Which ones would you have included?

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