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Charles Chusseau-Flaviens’ London

February 11, 2017
by the gentle author

Petticoat Lane

Photographer Charles Chusseau-Flaviens came to London from Paris and took these pictures, reproduced courtesy of George Eastman House, before the First World War – mostly likely in 1911. This date is suggested by his photograph of the proclamation of the coronation of George V which took place in that year. Very little is known of Chusseau-Flaviens except he founded one of the world’s first picture agencies, located at 46 Rue Bayen,  and he operated through the last decade of the nineteenth and first decade of the twentieth century. Although their origin is an enigma, Chusseau-Flaviens’ photographs of London and especially of Petticoat Lane constitute a rare and precious vision of a lost world.

Petticoat Lane

Sandys Row with Frying Pan Alley to the right

Proclamation of the coronation of George V, 1911

Crossing sweeper in the West End

Policeman on the beat in Oxford Circus, Regent St

Beating the bounds for the Tower of London, Trinity Sq

Boats on the Round Pond, Kensington Gardens

Suffragette in Trafalgar Sq

Photographs courtesy George Eastman House

You may also like to take a look at

Dennis Anthony’s Petticoat Lane

C A Mathew’s Spitalfields

10 Responses leave one →
  1. Jim McDermott permalink
    February 11, 2017

    What a treasure trove! Keep digging, GA.

  2. February 11, 2017

    What incredible photos. They seem so much more realistic than carefully posed images of the time. That top picture is very Gustave Dore.

  3. February 11, 2017

    Images to look at again and again. So many people interacting compared with our streets now.
    I like the Beating the Bounds,this is a tradition that has been lost,or has it,does anyone know?
    I registered a Village Green here on the IW and tried hard to get the tradition of Beating the Bounds started again,it is a wonderful way of getting children to understand land boundries and their enviroment.

  4. February 11, 2017

    Brilliant photos. Thank you for posting them.

  5. February 11, 2017


  6. February 12, 2017

    Special pictures.

  7. Ros permalink
    February 12, 2017

    Wonderful to see these precious scenes recorded. I’d like to find out more about exact locations and which if any of the buildings in the Petticoat and Brick Lane ones are still standing.

    Liz Gowers if you put ‘Beating the Bounds’ into the Spitalfields Life searchbox, you will see that the gentle author has done at least two pieces on the subject, on beating the bounds of the City of London and of the Tower. The ceremony is by no means extinct I think, and takes place up and down the country.

  8. Paula Peters permalink
    February 12, 2017

    I never knew about these photos from the Geo Eastman House, and I live in Rochester, where it’s located. So glad to see them posted here. Thank you !

  9. Delia Folkard permalink
    February 13, 2017

    Fabulous photos. Love the policeman and the suffragette.

  10. Peter Holford permalink
    February 13, 2017

    Stunning! On first viewing (before reading the words!) I thought they showed London in the 1890s. It’s hard to believe that they were taken in the same era as my dad was born. I guess many of the photos are showing immigrants from Europe wearing clothes that may well have been viewed as archaic to our eyes.

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