Signs of the times

17 Aug
copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Carrer Rauric

Today I have a selection of old shop signs for you, which I hope you will enjoy. They are becoming scarcer but there are still plenty of them around Barcelona. Let’s check them out…

Starting with El Ingenio (above) a fabulous old shop, specialised in costumes, tricks and toys of the traditional kind, it’s where jugglers and acrobats come for their outfits and accessories. I’m hoping to obtain permission to take photographs inside so I can show you in more detail.

Below, a lovely bar close to the Cute Suite, which, although not old, has kept its sign in the style of the 19th Century – painted on mirrored glass and inserted in a wooden frame.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Carrer del Carme

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Carrer Ferran

This sign on Carrer Ferran must have cost a fair bit in its day – curved glass, the enormous size, and the 2nd sign (below) around the corner – today it would be unaffordable! The shop itself no longer exists, but the signs have been kept in place as a memento of other times. I love it when that happens!

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Carrer Ferran

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Carrer del Carme

Above another painted mirror sign – you can see just how old it is!! More than 200 years, and it’s still there – pretty amazing, I think.

Below, another old sign, probably 100 years younger than the one above, which indicates there was a wax shop in those premises. Today, it houses a delightful and delicious vegetarian restaurant, well worth visiting.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Passatge del Crèdit

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Carrer Joaquin Costa

Two more lovely signs, in wood and mirrored glass, both on the same street. I love the marbled effect on the sign below.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Carrer Joaquin Costa

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Passatge de les Cabres

Two very different signs in a tiny street that joins Carrer del Carme to the square next to La Boqueria market. The street name itself refers to the times when goats were a normal part of city life, and I imagine goats must have been led along this former path on market days.

The sign above isn’t all that beautiful, although I do like the type of font used for its lettering. The reason I am showing it, is because the kind of shop it advertises is one that is becoming vary rare these days, for it is a shop that sells soap flakes and oils to make your own detergents and cleaning products.

The one below – or what’s left of it – is a very beautiful mosaic which is in a rather poor state. It used to advertise a shop selling tapioca, chocolate and other sweets, not there is a shop that specialises in Argentinian products, some of which are very sweet too.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Passatge de les Cabres

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Carrer del Carme

More examples of mirrored glass signs – the one above for a manufacturer of Spanish playing cards, unfortunately no longer there, and the next two, for a shop selling shirts. This shop (and its signs) appears to be thriving still, I am happy to let you know.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Gran de Gràcia

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Gran de Gràcia

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Carrer de les Sitges

One of the few old barber shops still to be found in Barcelona. They don’t allow photos, but I think I may try to obtain permission to show case them on the blog for you. Fingers crossed!

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Carrer del Carme

The wonderful El Indio has really beautiful Art Nouveau signs, both in painted mirror glass and carved plaster. The shop is not as grand as it used to be, especially inside (although it still has its wooden counters and shelves), but it is wonderful that it still exists, and I hope it will continue to do so for a long time yet.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Carrer del Carme

I hope you have enjoyed this wander around town, checking out old shop signs. Are there old shops signs where you live? What are they like? I’d love to know, so feel free to send me an email with photos attached.

Summery weather has arrived at long last, and I will be going away on holiday. This means that I will be away from the blog for a bit. Not too long though, don’t worry. I’ll be back on the 1st of September, with more Barcelona gorgeousness for you to enjoy. I hope you don’t miss me too much, and look forward to seeing you here at the Cute Suite blog on September 1st. Bones vacances!

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