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Pub sign - The White Hart (pub sign)
  • The White Hart (pub sign)
    Foster, Myles Birket, born 1825 - died 1899
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The White Hart (pub sign)

  • Object:

    Pub sign

  • Place of origin:

    Witley (painted)

  • Date:

    ca. 1875 (painted)
    ca. 1750 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Foster, Myles Birket, born 1825 - died 1899 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    oil on pine

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The artist, Myles Birket Foster, who was usually known by his second name, lived in the village of Witley, near Godalming, Surrey, where this sign hung outside the village inn, the White Hart. Attracted by the rural setting, Birket Foster orginally rented a cottage in Witley for a family holiday in 1860 and then bought about twenty acres of land nearby to build his own house, The Hill. This was furnished with furniture, tiles and stained glass supplied by Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co.

Birket Foster specialised in landscapes and views of rural life, particularly those inspired by the unspoilt countryside around Witley. Although he is known mainly for his watercolours, he also painted in oil, the medium used for this inn sign. It was apparently re-painted by him and by Alfred W. Cooper, a family friend, about 1875 and the Museum purchased it from the owner of the inn in 1938.

Physical description

Pub sign in pine for 'The White Hart', painted in oil.
The board is constructed of four superimposed planks, each c. 24 cm wide (i.e. high, in this context).

Place of Origin

Witley (painted)


ca. 1875 (painted)
ca. 1750 (made)


Foster, Myles Birket, born 1825 - died 1899 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

oil on pine


Height: 95.5 cm wooden board, Width: 98 cm wooden board, Thickness: 4.2 cm wooden board, Height: 169 cm to iron finial, Width: 208 cm approx., of iron bar

Object history note

This sign hung outside the inn, the White Hart, in the village of Witley, near Godalming, Surrey. In a letter to Professor Tristram of 1938 (on the Nominal file) Capt. L.M. Glasson, grandson of Birket Foster, says that his mother remembers her father painting the sign when she was a girl. H.M. Cundall's book, Birket Foster, RWS (1906) page 185 also records him painting the sign. Birket Foster apparently painted the sign with Alfred W. Cooper, son of Alfred Cooper, RA.

The sign was purchased from Mrs. Edward Chandler, owner of the inn, whose husband's family apparently owned the manor of Witley for many years.

Descriptive line

Pub sign for the 'White Hart' by Myles Birket Foster, Wiltley, ca. 1750.

Labels and date

ENGLISH; the board mid-18th century, the painting about 1875

Pinewood painted for the White Hart Inn, Witley, Surrey, by Mile Birkett Foster (1825-99) and Alfred Cooper.

NB should be Myles Birket Foster KH 3/1/2005 [pre January 2001]


Pine; Oil paint


Entertainment & Leisure


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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