Signs of the Times
2 - Signing up
By Eva Cantin
Stitched signatures have started to arrive. I am delighted with them and with how quickly project members have got going with them. The first arrived only two days after the project meeting. Every day brings a couple more. I am posting them online here as they arrive.
To fill the blank cloth opposite the signatures I have been doing a bit of online research about topics in the documents which have caught my attention. I am trying to fit them in to my theme of “signs of the times” but find that I get caught up in the flow of information and go off exploring all sorts of irrelevancies! Symbols and ways of encoding or representing information seem to have become an interest of mine, like the tally sticks in Threads of Time 1.
The Merchant Marks on shipping documents interested me at first sight. I had come across some before in connection with the East Anglian wool trade. A Radcliffe merchant mark, found on a scrap of paper which seemed to be a quick calculation of assets (DE-R-B387-32), was also on one of the ship’s manifests (DE-R-B387-11) so this is one I will be stitching.
My own signature is already accompanied by a couple of merchant marks. The anchor symbol appealed to me as it clearly relates the mark to trading overseas, this was not a merchant who dealt merely with domestic trade goods!