Fish Store Sign
carved, painted, and gilded wood fish: 9 3/4 x 30 1/8 x 3 3/4 in. (24.7 x 76.5 x 9.5 cm.)
Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 26A
Luce Center Label
In the mid- to late nineteenth century, craftsmen carved signs for a wide variety of businesses. These large, easily recognizable symbols guided people to the service or product needed, from the mortar and pestle of the druggist to the shoe of the cobbler and the fish of the fishmonger. This visual language of figures and objects was especially useful to the large numbers of immigrants, many of whom could not speak English.
Animal - fish