• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2104

    Selections From The Allan Stone Collection

    12 November 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 664

    A CARVED AND PAINTED BARBER POLE

    AMERICAN, 1870-1900

    Price Realised  

    A CARVED AND PAINTED BARBER POLE
    AMERICAN, 1870-1900
    95 in. high, 10½ in. diameter


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    Bold, over scale and swirling red and white and blue, this barber pole attracted attention and clearly indicated the storefronts intention. Catering to a largely illiterate public, Nineteenth century trade signs were integral to commerce. Like the eye catching tobacconist figures in lots 621-22 and the Swift meat packing steer in lot 660--these figures were grand advertisements as well as status symbols of the proprietor. The addition of the gild finial and star on the base indicate that this barber pole may have been made around America's centennial. It is an exuberant expression of commerce and patriotism.