A Scarce Enamel Funeral Outfitters Trade Sign c.1930

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Origin: English
Period: Early/Mid 20thC
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1930-40
Width: 29.75”
Height: 18”

The rare sheet iron rectangular enamel advertising or trade sign reading “Funeral Outfits, Ready Made, or at Short Notice” in white capital lettered shadowed block typeface on a faded rose madder ground, surviving from the second quarter of the twentieth century.

There is some expected wear to the paintwork, which gives the sign a decorative appeal, having been placed outside for many a year. It has some bend and there is rust spotting and some pierced holes, and drilled holes for attachment to a wall.

The fashion for heavy mourning was drastically reduced during the Edwardian era and even more so after the Great War.  So many individuals died that just about everyone was in mourning for someone.  By 1918 a whole new attitude had developed and this was hastened even further by the Second World War. By the 1950s in the UK women mourned for about 6 to 12 months wearing black and other dark colours like navy or bottle green or subdued tones.  In the 1960s individuals started to wear colours like navy, purple or grey to funerals and by the 1980s it became usual for some, although not all, people to only wear black at the actual funeral.

A scarce subject and a sign that will surely raise a saturnine smile.

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