After six grueling rounds of knockout competition on Twitter, Bloom’s Piano’s ‘ghost sign’ on Kingsland Road was crowned second best in London.
Sam Roberts, longtime resident of Hackney, also known as Mr. Ghostsigns and co-author of the book Ghost Signs: A London History, hosted the tournament after being mesmerized by the discolored remains of the hand-painted billboards.
He said: “It all started for me at Stoke Newington with the Walker Bros / Waterman sign. [on Church Street]. “
The online contest saw 5,000 votes cast with the Capital’s best ghost sign awarded to Peterkin Custard on St John’s Hill in Battersea.
Ghost signs, also known as faded advertisements, are vintage painted signs displayed on old brick buildings across London.
The Bloom’s Pianos sign on Kingsland Road, next to the Museum of the Home, came in second.
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Bloom was the adopted name of the Russian immigrant and master cabinetmaker Philip Blumher who spent much of the 1930s trading in Shoreditch.
Sam said, “This sign has a bit of everything: scale; illustration; safe language; elastic lettering; and the signature of the sign’s author. It’s also in palimpsest, but the older layer is so far indistinguishable.
“In 2012, the sign was added to the local Hackney City Council list in recognition of its artistic and aesthetic merit and historical value. However, this did not prevent graffiti that gradually crept onto the wall. . “
Third place went to Meggezones on Noyna Road in Tooting.
Sixty-four entrants were shortlisted for the online competition from among the 250 faded painted wall signs whose stories are told in the book.
The book was produced through a fundraiser which saw nearly £ 30,000 pledged.
Other ghost signs in Hackney included Cakebread Robey & Co at a former construction dealer on Tyssen Road and Hartcraft sign that advertised a furniture-making business once run by Elizabeth Hart on Minerva Street.
Player’s Please is another billboard for Player’s cigarettes on Kemey’s Street, on the corner of Kenworthy Road.
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