A Magnificent 19thC French Period Painted & Signwritten Veterinary Trade Sign for ‘R.Dupin Veterinaire’ c.1870-90

Origin: French
Period: 2nd Empire/3rd Republic
Provenance: Burgundy, France
Date: c.1870-90
Height: 21.25”
Depth: 1.25” or 2” with struts
Width: 39.25”

The French period painted pine veterinary trade sign of good size consisting of three adjoined panels signwritten ‘R. Dupin Veterinaire Pres (L?)‘Enregistrement’ for R.Dupin Registered Veterinarian, in bold ivory script over a stunning indigo blue ground and with a pointing hand or manicule, bordered by a moulded frame, the whole in totally original condition, now craquelured with age, remaining uncleaned and unrestored, surviving from the last quarter of nineteenth century France and from the central east area of Burgundy.

The panel is in sound structural order and remains untouched or unrestored in any way thus ensuring it retains its wonderful originality, texture and character. The three boards are strengthened with three struts verso and hanging hooks are in place so it is ready to hang. The aged paintwork is spectacular and has not been meddled with in any way, there is bitumen and craquluere to the whole and the style of the rather elegant pointing hand in particular helps us date this typography to the latter part of the nineteenth century. The indigo blue ground would have been stunningly bright when it was painted, now a moody, inky tone but with lighter parts shimmering through. We cannot find any information on the practitioner, Monsieur R.Dupin, but further research may prove fruitful in this regard.

The first veterinary school was founded in Lyon, France in 1761 by Claude Bourgelat, and that’s essentially when the profession of veterinary medicine officially began. The school focused on studying the anatomy and diseases of sheep, horses and cattle in an effort to combat cattle deaths from a plague in France. The term 'veterinarian' started to emerge mainly in the 1830s when "the profession" was getting fed up with their lowly position in life (and demeaning treatment from the ‘human’ surgeons) and thus they began to think of forming a professional association.

Very early veterinarians were mainly concerned with the care of livestock and horses and mules. But by the 1890's, many veterinarians were involved in figuring out and controlling those diseases that affect humans and our food supply for example, in 1891, Dr. Leonard Pearson initiated the tuberculosis testing of cattle to help stop the spread of this disease to both man and other cattle. As such, veterinary science came of age in the late 19th century, with notable contributions from Sir John McFadyean, credited by many as having been the founder of modern Veterinary research. For France in particular, the leech enjoyed a period of favour especially during the 19th century.

A stunning early example of trade signage in spellbindingly original condition; and of exceptional colour and texture.