Four Alls tavern sign

The mid-nineteenth century artisan painter, untutored but not inexperienced, could earn a living producing images for churches or other public buildings, and on the street as shop or inn signs, such as this tavern signboard from Pant Caerhun, near Bangor, Gwynedd.

Signs and symbols, heraldic arms, local legend, heroes and national figures provided subjects. The four characters in this image are instantly recognisable by their dress, and their roles and place in the social hierarchy were doubtless appreciated.

These type of paintings were usually anonymous, but we know that D. J. Williams, Menai Bridge, painted this sign. Painted on wooden boards it has survived exposure to the elements over a long period.