Victorian Tradesmen Scraps
As my collection of the Cries of London has grown, I have widened the scope of the endeavour to include images of all tradesmen and these die-cut Victorian scraps are my latest discovery.
Enlarged here to several times their actual size, the detail and characterisation of these figures is revealed splendidly. Printed by rich-hued colour lithography, glossy and embossed, these appealing images celebrate the essential tradesmen and shopkeepers that were once commonplace but now are scarce.
In the course of my interviews, I have spoken with hundreds of shopkeepers and stallholders – and it is apparent that most only make just enough money to live, yet are primarily motivated by the satisfaction they get from their chosen trade and the appreciation of regular customers.
Here in the East End, these are the family businesses and independent traders who have created the identity of the place and carry the life of our streets. Consequently, I delight in these portraits of their predecessors, the tradesmen of the nineteenth century – rendered as giants by these monumental enlargements.
You may also like to take a look at these other sets of the Cries of London