Outstanding example of this iconic and highly sought after tin advertising sign made by the Shonk Company, Chicago, Illinois, circa 1906. The subject matter depicts a farm scene with an Ebbert wagon parked on a dirt road, and a young man with a pretty young lady carrying a wicker basket full of apples while standing on a ladder leaning against the apple tree. They are picking apples off of an apple tree and placing them in their Ebbert wagon; thus the title of the sign at the base “In The Shade of The Old Apple Tree”.
Copious other markings leave no doubt as to the genesis and purpose of the sign. What is being advertised are Ebbert wagons, used for farming, manufactured by the “Hickman Ebbert Company of Owensboro, Kentucky”. It is marked “Chas. W. Shonk Co. Litho Chicago No. C 1028” in the lower right corner. Other markings include “Design by USG Clemens Copyright 1906”. Also printed on the sign, “Best At The Price And Always The Same The Ebbert Owensboro, Ky”. In addition, on the side of the wagon is printed “Manufactured by The Hickman Ebbert Company, Owensboro Ky”. And finally, and most important of all, a nailed sign on the tree states “If your team could tell you the wagon to buy, they would tell you the Ebbert and tell you why. From tongue to gate, from axle to seat for man, load or team. It can’t be beat”.
The sign is in just about mint condition and handsomely bordered in a heavy gold gilt 4″ wooden frame. Possibly, from the corporate offices or belonging to someone in the hierarchy of the Ebbert company, this particular sign and example is the one to own. It has been in my collection for over thirty years, and is quite possible one of the best examples, if not the best, extant; especially when considering the frame.
The Ebbert wagons were made to the same scale and colors as the one depicted on the sign; a deep green body with red wheels. Actual wagons are still available now and then, and come up occasionally in auction. A recent sale in upstate New York sold an example of this particular sign for $7015 on 5/16/15 in similar condition but without the corporate frame.
*Note: See other outstanding tin advertising signs I have for sale.
Dimensions: Overall (with frame): 33″ high x 45″ wide. Actual sign: 25 1/2″ high x 37 1/2″ wide