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T L Busby’s Costume Of The Lower Orders

January 16, 2014
by the gentle author

In spite of the title, there is an encouraging lack of subservience among T L Busby’s lively portraits of the Lower Orders from 1820, which suggests the description may be taken as economic rather than pejorative. Only the beggar woman looks defeated, while the rest are rapt with their intent upon turning a shilling and return our gaze with an eager expectation of doing business, irrespective of their ragged attire. Drawing upon Marcellus Laroon’s Cries of London of one hundred and fifty years earlier, this series certainly make a vivid contrast with Richard Dighton’s City Characters of 1824, who sport a superior quality of tailoring, yet many of whom are almost comatose by comparison with the quick life possessed of these street-wise Lower Orders.

The Waterman displays his the badge of the company he served.

Images courtesy of Bishopsgate Institute

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3 Responses leave one →
  1. January 16, 2014

    Really fine 19th Century Artwork — I love that girl with the matches…!

    Love & Peace

  2. January 16, 2014

    I don’t know, I think the Beggar’s expression is much more “Oh no, you can’t possibly need a clean diaper AGAIN”.

    The artwork in these is so lovely and vibrant; I love seeing the variety and specialization of all the sellers.

  3. January 16, 2014

    lovely! tho i have to wonder just what’s in that “dogs meat” man’s basket!

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