Carved and Gilded Catamount Figural Tavern Sign, probably Bennington County, Vermont, c. 1893, relief-carved figure with gilt over gessoed wood, including black metal stand and a white painted wood wall-mounted display shelf, (repairs to tail), ht. 25, wd. 4 1/2, lg. 5 ft. 2 in.
Provenance: According to notes kept by the consignors, the figure reportedly was carved by a carousel figure carver for the 1893 Bennington, Vermont, Centennial Celebration. It was owned by a gentleman whose Vermont grandparents were antique collectors in the 1920s, and the figure had been stored in their attic for many years.
Exhibitions: Vermont: Myths and Realities, Vermont Folk Life Center, Middlebury College, and Bennington Museum.
Note: The eastern mountain lion or catamount (a variant of "cat of the mountain") was adopted by Vermonters as a symbol of their tenacity. In the 18th century, a catamount grinning defiance at New York was the sign and rallying symbol of the Green Mountain Boys before the Revolutionary War at Jonas Fay's Catamount Tavern in Bennington, Vermont,
Some joinery repairs to tail.