Archive for October 23rd, 2013

October 23, 2013

Chimney Sweep

From “The Manner of Crying Things in London” printed inĀ 1640 by an anonymous author. The sweep has obviously been working as he is covered in filth and is looking at us with a surly expression. On his back is a snapsack and the tools of his trade. I’m not sure what the golf-club like instrument is, possibly a rake to gather the soot from the lower parts of chimneys. If so it is doubling as the lever to hold the pack on his back.

He’s wearing a battered hat and some kind of belted coverall or smock to keep his clothes in some kind of decent condition. I don’t blame him, I’ve had a go myself. Soot goes everywhere!

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October 23, 2013

Rats, Milk and Collyflowers

From an etching dated 1655, part of the Cryes of London series by Robert Pricke. The rat catcher displays his prowess on a board and is dressed smartly in doublet, breeches and shoes with a wide brimmed hat and sober falling band.

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The milk seller has perched a bucket of milk on her head. She’s dressed in a waistcoat and petticoat over which she has sensibly added an apron and neckerchief. She is also wearing a hat and coif combo on her head, presumably to help her cope with the weight of the milk.

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This lady is selling nice ripe colly-flowers. They don’t look quite like our cultivated ones, though they’re not that far off. I wonder if they were as white as modern cultivars? She is dressed identically to the milk seller. Compare her shoes with the rat catcher. They are the same style.

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