Wednesday 10 October 2012

Ghost signs (80): drink in Dinard

My last visit to the stylish seaside resort of Dinard, Brittany focused on a relatively modern sign. By contrast, this one is a classic in every sense: not only its greater age, but its brand - St Raphael feature on many Breton ghost signs - and its design. 

Although the sign has faded to its outlines, we can still clearly read the words 'St Raphael quinquina'. (This product is one of several French quinine-based aperitifs) The window is framed by a dark oval in which a waiter can just be seen holding a tray. As the logo featured two waiters, one a white silhouette and the other red, we can assume that a companion has faded to invisibility - although there are perhaps suggestive hints to our survivor's right. He would usually be to the left, but the window may have forced a redesign - or perhaps the traces I see are just wishful thinking. There has been ample time for fading: the rounded lines and restrained central logo tells us that this predates the 1950s, when the brand underwent a dramatic change in style

I've talked before about how my family have gradually been converted, more or less willingly, to ghost-sign spotting. This example was found by my dad and photographed by my brother-in-law - a successful family effort! 


Anonymous said...

It is curious how time works its changes, not only on material objects but also on our perception of them. Advertisements, especially large ones in prominent positions, often strike us as the effusions of vulgar commercialism, eyesores that we try to ignore.

Let a few years pass, however, and an abandoned advertisement gains an aura of nostalgia, a wistful historicity, as though it were beckoning us back to an earlier, happier time.

Sam Roberts (Ghostsigns) said...

I know exactly what you mean about friends and family falling into the fold. I distinctly remember many encounters with people who opened the conversation with 'I saw one of your signs'. Once you spot, you can't stop!

CarolineLD said...

Absolutely, Sam!

SilverTiger, it is interesting to see adverts move from annoyances to pieces of nostalgia. There are various TV advertisements on YouTube which annoyed everyone when they were originally shown, but seem to have nostalgic appeal for many viewers now.