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18th Century Trade Sign Workshop at Lewes Historical Society

February 15 -10:00 AM - February 16 -5:00 PM

a red sign with a cannon painted on it

Sign-painting is an ancient trade that dates to the third century B.C.E. Early trade signs were a way to communicate to the public what each establishment was selling with a simple image and a few words in a world with little education. The personality and talent of the sign painter and the culture of the location often dictated what the sign ultimately looked like. Today modern sign painting includes billboards, painted sides of buildings, storefronts, windows, and doors. It is also common for private homeowners to have a custom sign to welcome visitors to their property.

The Lewes Historical Society has partnered with artist Brandyn Charlton to conduct a class on designing and rendering an 18th – century trade sign. Charlton, no stranger to Lewes, has produced several signs for the Society’s historic buildings, including the Sussex Tavern, Lewistown Coffee House, and the Ryves Holt House. An expert on 18th-century trade signs and folk art, Charlton will be instructing the workshop on two separate days at LHS. Classes are open to the public and will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Thursday, February 15, and Friday, February 16, 2024.

The day-long workshop will include the creation and painting of a 16 by 24-inch sign for each attendee. Each sign will be completed on a flat wooden board. All necessary materials will be available at the class and included in the $140 fee, ($115 for LHS Members). Participants are encouraged to choose from one of three historical designs on which to base their own custom sign. Registrants will be contacted by email to provide their design choice before the class.

Space is limited so early registration is encouraged. Each participant should bring lunch with them. To register go to www.historiclewes.org/events or call 302.645.7670.


February 15 -10:00 AM
February 16 -5:00 PM
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