Shop Front, rue Michel-Le-Comte
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Eugène Atget
French, Paris, 1901
Albumen print
8 1/2 x 6 7/8 in.

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In the 1600s, when literacy was rare, symbols were used to illustrate the goods and services offered by merchants. At this shop front, Eugène Atget photographed a sign that featured a wrought iron rope, bucket, and pulley, which allude to a well. The refreshment drawn up at Au Bon Puits (The Good Well) was not water but wine. This historic sign is now part of a collection in the Musée Carnavalet that focuses on early pictorial signs.