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01 Barker Powder Sign

This is an extremely early, sign lithographed on fabric.  It was produced by the Barker, Moore, and Mein Company of Philadelphia.  The image is quite dramatic, showing a steam locomotive passing over a stone bridge.  The horses and other livestock are obviously spooked by the loud sounds of the train, perhaps the engineer blew his whistle.  The white horse is the centerpiece, as his head is thrown back and his eyes have a look of panic.  All the other animals are making a run for it.  We can date this canvas very closely. The earliest examples of this poster (pre-1885) only had “HORSE & CATTLE” in the name.  Sometime between 1885 and 1889 the name was changed with the addition of “POULTRY.” The poster size is 28”x 23”.  One unique aspect of this poster, in my experience is the use to wooden hanging rods at the top and bottom.  There are two metal hanging attachments on the back of the top bar in addition to an original string tie that could be used to roll the poster up and secure it.  I would suspect this is one of the earliest examples due to these additions.  So, let’s say it’s more or less 130 years old.  As I noted earlier, this is a lithograph on woven fabric to imitate an oil painting.  It was produced by the company of Theo Leonhardt & Son of Philadelphia.  A detailed history of the Leonhardt company can be found online.  CONDITION:  The fabric backing has held the entire poster together with just a small tear in the lower right corner with no loss of the image.  About four inches of the bottom edge of the canvas from the right end, has detached from the wooden rod and has been supported with archival tape.  The poster has nail holes in each corner and one above the “K” in Barker’s.  The colors are muted from age and there is evidence of damp stain, mostly on the reverse.  With all that said about the condition, I would still call this excellent condition for something of this age.  How many of these can possible have survived in any condition?  PLUS, this is the only example of ANY Barker’s poster that I have seen with these wooden rods.  A true survivor.  Shipping may require a little extra packing.