5 Jun 2024

W.E. Baxter: A Beautiful Palimpsest in Lewes, Sussex

I’ve long admired this palimpsest advertising the W.E. Baxter printing firm in Lewes, Sussex. I never did get a photo for the History of Advertising Trust Ghostsigns Archive but was kindly sent this one by David Quay.

Painted wall sign in gold lettering on a dark green background. It reads: "W.E. Baxter Ld., Printers. Bookbinders. Stationers, Order Office, Door on Right". Below this are traces of lettering from an earlier iteration of the sign that are becoming visible as the green background fades.
Traces of an earlier iteration advertising the same company are gradually becoming visible below the more recent lettering. Photo: David Quay / Type Tourist.

The excellent Ghost Signs from Bygone Times account on Instagram has these historical notes:

“The business was founded by John Baxter in 1802 but truly established itself when his grandson William Edwin Baxter took over in the 1830s. The company traded here for at least 150 years before moving it’s printworks to Mitcham, London.”

W.E. Baxter Ltd

W.E. Baxter Ld.

Printers. Bookbinders. Stationers

Order Office

Door on Right

The lower layer is an earlier iteration of Baxter’s signage, and the front of the building also has some signage for the firm that has been repainted at some point.

Walwers Lane (corner of 34 High Street), Lewes, Sussex BN7 [Streetview]

The sign can still be seen on the side of 34 High St, Lewes, Sussex, facing Walwers Lane: https://maps.app.goo.gl/wpNH9XS2Dew8Sc7h9

Photo: David Quay / Type Tourist

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