Two Decorative c.1935 Tavern Signs for the Black Boy Pub, Stockton, Norfolk, UK

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Origin: English
Period: Early/Mid Twentieth Century
Provenance: The Black Boy Public House, Stockton, Norfolk, UK
Date: c.1930-45
The Double-Sided Sign: 26.5 x 20.5 inches
The One Sided Sign: 18.5 x 11.75 inches

The large arched rectangular hand painted swinging tavern sign, being double sided and designed to draw in the punters from the streets of Norfolk and into the Black Boy tavern, showing an idealistic depiction of a young black boy in an exotic beach location with sand and a palm tree to the background, the boy with a happy smile, the design differing ever so slightly to each side, the iron surround black painted, and with it, an additional flat painted tin sign for the same pub that reads in shadowed black script “Black Boy Open 10-0am”; each surviving from the second quarter of the twentieth century.

The double-sided sign is suspended from the two iron mounting loops, the panel remains structurally sound. It has some paint abrasion and flaking to several areas and scuffs commensurate with age (it was of course hanging outside) but it couldn’t be expected to be in any better oder than it is and it doesn’t suffer from any bad restoration or touch-ups. The flat pressed metal sign has rust and oxidisation wear to it and pitting and spotting though it remains structurally sound with two holes for wall mounting.

The Black Boy tavern opened way back in 1789 in George III’s reign and was included in the Loddon & Clavering Register taken on the 21st September 1789. Is also appears on the Bryants map of 1826. It’s decline started in the 1950s and by 1960 Morgans sales were only 35 barrels of beer and 24 spirits for the year. The pub was subesequently closed by Bullards in 1963.

The un-politically correct nature of these signs means they are actually quite an important piece of social history, and, of folk art. They prove mightily decorative and are a shoe in to appreciate in value.

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