Ghost Signs of Dublin; Antonia Hart
Have you ever noticed an old shop name painted on a gable wall, crossed a threshold made of a faded mosaic name, or passed your fingers over a pair of twined initials you can hardly make out? These signs tell the story of the city. Through them we watch Dubliners develop a taste for luxury goods like tea and sugar, watch them smoke and drink and taste coffee at home for the first time. We look through the windows of the confectioner whose sweets Queen Victoria bought for the royal children, and the Dublin candle company which has operated for half a millennium. We see the luxury department store where children stole purses from shoppers during the Lockout and the biscuit factory where the caretaker refused to leave his post as the 1916 rebels took over the building amid the smoke and gunfire.
These signs, these casual monuments, are the prizes in a visual treasure hunt, and once you start hunting you will never see Dublin, or any city, without its ghostly lights again.
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