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Antique French Hand-Painted Menu Sign

Antique French Hand-Painted Menu Sign

$295.00

When the tire manufacturing Michelin brothers introduced their very first guide in 1900 there were less than 3,000 automobiles on the roads of France. At that time, the guide was made up of maps, and listings for mechanics, tire repair, fuel stations, and hotels throughout France. The idea was that making travel easier also meant selling more tires.

At first, it was only establishments in Paris that received specific mentions, but over the following decades dining establishments across France and an ever-widening network of countries being connected via automotive travel, were being listed by category.

The guide began sending anonymous inspectors to rank noteworthy bites for consumers until, by 1936, they were awarded to certain restaurants thus: One star indicated, “A very good restaurant in its category”; two stars, “Excellent cooking, worth a detour”; and three stars meant, “Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.”

Found at market in Paris and dating from the time of those early Michelin Guides, we bring you a delightfully scarce tabletop menu sign. Its chrome-plated brass frame is reminiscent of the hardware of those substantial early vehicles. The top two-thirds of the frame are occupied with a panel of matte milk glass bearing the enameled word, “Menu.” This surface will accept anything you might choose to write in pencil, which can be easily wiped away with a damp cloth as the offerings of your kitchen change. The lower portion of the frame is filled with a beautifully rendered miniature painting depicting horses reacting to the meeting of a natty motorcar on the road.

A charming addition to your entertaining arsenal, this petite menu stand will dress your buffet or dinner table, enticing guests with the culinary delights that await them.


Strictly one-of-a-kind and subject to prior sale. In good antique condition with several missing flakes of paint to the miniature painting as shown in the alternate images. 5.25"H x 2.75".

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