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Furniture Trade Cards Of Old London

November 27, 2017
by the gentle author

I discovered these old furniture trade cards hidden in the secret drawer of a hypothetical cabinet


Images courtesy Bishopsgate Institute

You may like to see my earlier selections

The Trade Cards of Old London

More Trade Cards of Old London

Yet More Trade Cards of Old London

Even More Trade Cards of Old London

Further Trade Cards of Old London

The Signs of Old London

14 Responses leave one →
  1. Greg Tingey permalink
    November 27, 2017

    Most of these have an 18th C “feel/look” about them, especially No2 with dealing in “Ivory & Tortoiseshell”
    At least two with “Funerala also performed”, which is certainly … different.

  2. November 27, 2017

    What wonderful discriptions of their work addresses Cecile Pitt, Upholder and Appraiser , at the Royal Tent, Moorfields, 4 doors from the corner of New Broad st, and the corner of Bedlam Walk ,,,

  3. November 27, 2017

    A time when more than derivatives were made in the City!

  4. November 27, 2017

    Your postings always provoke my imagination…….Today I am featuring a young girl coming across these trade cards in a drawer, and taking out her scissors and making a paper diorama furnished with the rural rustic garden settees and chairs. Maybe bits of moss tucked around the wobbly paper furnishings, etc. I’ll be thinking of that all day long. Thanks, as ever, for the exquisite time travel. (and I loved the mix of various type faces as well……beautiful)

  5. Helen Breen permalink
    November 27, 2017

    Greetings from Boston,

    GA, great collection of goods and services from yet another era.

    I noticed that many enterprises did not have street numbers, but potential customers were given specific directions otherwise.
    WILLIAM RUSSELL – cabinet maker, at his shop in Bonds Stables or his house in Fetter Lane
    SAM THANE & THOM. JONES – upholsters at the Golden Plow, corner of Little Moorgate London Wall
    JOHN STURGIS – various services at the Rofe & Crown next to the White Horse Inn

  6. November 27, 2017

    I am guessing that these are 18th to early 19th century, given the use of the “hanging s;” I don’t know when that fell out of use.

    I also wondered about the “funerals performed.” Might that have been because cabinet makers also made coffins…? I can certainly appreciate why appraisers and establishments which bought people’s estates might do them. Sort of your “one stop” end-of-life business.

    You always find the most intriguing people and artifacts to offer us, Gentle Author. I appreciate very much how you see the humanity, the life, that hides beneath the surface. Thank you for that gift.

  7. pauline taylor permalink
    November 27, 2017

    Thank you GA, these are wonderful and put advertising nowadays to total shame, what has happened to our appreciation of the skill involved in typesetting such as this, modern graphic design is rubbish by comparison, I despair when I see what is deemed acceptable now. Mind you I have to say that I am bemused by the lady on the HOPE card, she looks more like DESPAIR to me ! And that Royal Bed ~~~ perhaps if you bought one of those you could then boast that you had slept in the Royal Bed.

  8. pauline taylor permalink
    November 27, 2017

    Jennifer Newbold. Yes Jennifer, you are quite correct, ‘furnishing’ a funeral would have been undertaken (forgive me!) by carpenters and joiners as they would make the coffins. My ancestors did this in Lambeth, and it wasn’t just men who plied the trade, my several times great grandmother had such a business although I guess that she did not actually make coffins herself. It continued well into the last century as well as our village builder and carpenter also furnished funerals.

  9. November 27, 2017

    Much of the material here is around the sale of goods rather than the basic work that was so significant in the Bethnal Green area and the Curtain Road area on the way to Old Street.
    The materials from the old records of the furniture makers are available too in the Bishopsgate Archives which can be easily seen.

  10. Marion Brooker permalink
    November 27, 2017

    The British Museum also has a large online collection
    http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/search.aspx?searchText=trade+card
    Many of these were donated by Sir Ambrose Heal, who was a collector of trade cards. The collection is searchable.

  11. November 27, 2017

    I loved the offerings of Landall & Gordon, makers of chairs for griffons (although truthfully the griffon in their ad looks a little underwhelmed by the chair). ;-)

  12. Kitanz permalink
    November 28, 2017

    WOW! These vintage ads are Gorgeous! I know they are for the wealthy only!

  13. November 28, 2017

    Pauline Taylor; Pauline, thank you! I love to get these glimpses into our past. Lord only knows what my several times great-grandparents did. They didn’t think it worthy of writing down!

  14. Ian Silverton permalink
    November 28, 2017

    GA!great post,some of the cards remind me of the old White Fivers,must have been easy then to copy,you could never get anyone to change it for the you,if you where lucky enough to have one,even in the 1950s, Bethnal Green,was the place all this stuff was made,right up unto the late 1990s,furniture haven,turners,polishers,vennerers,and the like,then some of it was Reproduced, for some years,lower end of trade. Good luck

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