21 May 2014

W.A.Higgs & Co: A Stoke Newington Beauty

Reverse painted glass sign advertising W.A.Higgs

Walking past Tatreez, the Palestinian restaurant, I spotted this beautiful Victorian sign on the inside. It is clearly a shop fascia which got me wondering why it isn’t on the front? I did some digging at the Hackney Archives and found out that W.A.Higgs & Co. was an importer of tea. They had premises at 188 Stoke Newington High Street from around 1880 to the 1930s, flanked on either side by a tobacconist and a pawnbroker.

The sign is a classic piece of late Victorian glasswork with a mixture of gilding and painting in the Tuscan lettering style. It has stood the test of time, like much created in the Victorian era, with little decay in evidence. However, it was protected from the elements when the front of the building was extended outwards sometime between the 1930s and 1958.

Tatreez’s owner has promised to protect the sign which will be a new stop on my ghostsigns walking tour. This is also an unusual addition to my growing collection of ‘fading fascias‘.

Reverse painted glass sign advertising W.A.Higgs

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