There's rare and then there's this! A set of 3 stoneware plaques making up a road sign for Regent Street, London, complete with the original cast iron mounting brackets (and a later wooden back plate for ease of display). After extensive research, we believe that this sign dates from the early 19th Century (circa 1825), when Regent Street in London was first built. Regent Street was devised by John Nash in 1813 under the New Street Act, but it was not officially named Regent Street until 1819, after the Prince Regent (who became King George IV in 1820), with development completed in 1825/26.
It is unclear if the 'BK' part of the sign was originally with the 'Regent' and 'Street' parts, as the pieces are all stamped on the rear with different dates, however it could refer to a service (back) alley for the retail stores on the street. The 'BK' part is stamped FEB 11, the 'Street' part is stamped JUN 10 and the 'Regent' part is stamped AUG 25. Our belief is that the 'Street' and 'BK' parts were from a stock of signs produced in 1810/1811, but because Regent Street was not named as such until 1819, the 'Regent' part would have been produced only when it was needed circa 1825 around the time that the development was completed.
The only other such sign we can find from London dates from circa 1840 (see final photo as an example). In excellent condition for something almost 200 years old that has been used outside for probably half its' life. Regent Street was redeveloped in the early 20th Century, and this sign was most likely removed at that time and replaced with a glass or enamel sign.
Sign including backboard measures: 115cm wide x 21cm tall x 5cm deep
Available to view at our showroom in Chicklade, Wiltshire - by appointment only
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