Wicket Gate Quarterboard

“AN ELBOW OF SAND; all beach without a background….they have to plant weeds there, they don’t grow naturally….Nantucket.” Henry Melville, Moby Dick

Thirty miles south of Cape Cod, the three islands of Nantucket, Tuckernuck and Muskeget form the town of Nantucket, Massachusetts, where this quarterboard hangs. Although it is the least populated county in the state for a good part of the year, in the summer, the population swells to about 50,000 when tourists and seasonal residents flock to the islands. The name comes from similar Algonquian names for the island, and is thought to mean ‘faraway land’. Now designated as a National Historic Landmark District, Nantucket, with its rich whaling history, is said to have the finest surviving examples of late 18th and 19th century New England architecture of a seaport town.

Massachusetts is also the place where the first quarterboards were made, since they were carved for use on ships. Being carved, they outlasted flat painted signs, and identified a shipwreck when washed ashore. Over time, quarterboards became a tradition and a distinctive Cape Cod style. Seashells are one of the most popular decorations used, but the pineapple is also an often-used symbol for hospitality. In this case, the pineapples are sculpted and gilded with 23kt gold leaf, while the leaves are hand painted with artist acrylics. The text is hand carved and gilded as well, and the sign panel itself is brush textured. Although this sign looks, weighs and feels exactly like wood, it is made of high density urethane (HDU) – a closed cell material that is completely waterproof and that will withstand years of weather – even near the sea.

Carved & Gilded
Sculpted & Gilded Add on
Sign Size
36 " x 6 "