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Victorian Tradesmen Scraps

August 9, 2012
by the gentle author

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

London Characters

Geoffrey Fletcher’s Pavement Pounders

Faulkner’s Street Cries

William Craig Marshall’s Itinerant Traders

London Melodies

Henry Mayhew’s Street Traders

H.W.Petherick’s London Characters

John Thomson’s Street Life in London

Aunt Busy Bee’s New London Cries

Marcellus Laroon’s Cries of London

John Player’s Cries of London

More John Player’s Cries of London

William Nicholson’s London Types

John Leighton’s London Cries

Francis Wheatley’s Cries of London

John Thomas Smith’s Vagabondiana of 1817

John Thomas Smith’s Vagabondiana II

John Thomas Smith’s Vagabondiana III

Thomas Rowlandson’s Lower Orders

More of Thomas Rowlandson’s Lower Orders

Adam Dant’s  New Cries of Spittlefields

4 Responses leave one →
  1. Libby Hall permalink
    August 9, 2012

    How well they look so greatly enlarged!

  2. Adrienne permalink
    August 9, 2012

    Never. Ever. Boring.

  3. August 13, 2012

    You have no idea how much I love these historical posts 😀 .

  4. October 4, 2012

    The size of the pictures resembles the huge importance that these local tradesmen plays in the society. I can not imagine how things will be if there are no skilled workers. A big thanks to all of them!

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