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Varnished wood house sign - Haggertythe Cottage


Varnished wooden cottage sign with lettering by pyrograph

This is the strange case of the oval wooden house plaque and the disappearing lettering.

I must admit that this sign had me puzzled for a while. Except for the top edge, the varnish still looks fairly new, yet the lettering and central design have faded the point of being almost unreadable.

I think the answer lies in the way the lettering and design have been applied using a technique called pyrography. This is where a heated tool is used to burn into the wood; however, it only burns into the very top surface.

In the past the original varnish on the sign has degraded to the point where it needed renewing. It has been removed by sanding the surface which has also taken with it the pyrographic lettering which wasn’t touched up before it was re-varnished giving the sign this faded look.

You won’t come across many signs like this today. Pyrography was at one time a very popular hobby with certain middle-aged men. Nowadays the leisure time of such dubious characters would be engaged with computers and the internet.


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