London Cries and Public Edifices

This rare volume advertises the historical attractions of 1840s London as well as the various street vendors found within the city, and the wares they plied.  The pages contain descriptive passages along with sketches created by John Leighton, whose pen name was Luke Limner.  Found within many of the sketches is the artist’s cleverly hidden monogram.  The initials JL appear on a broadside hanging from a nearby wall in one image, and in another image they are ornately embossed on the capital of a wooden column.  Books and prints similar to this, documenting the rhetoric of London hawkers, have been produced for centuries.  Though you are more likely these days to see a fish and chips vendor in London– knife grinders, broom makers, sellers of mussels and roasted corn, are still a common sight on the streets of many Asian cities.

There is no copyright date present but research indicates it was originally published in 1847.  The front endpaper is inscribed,

“For Mother-  London, October 8th, 1875.”

Other titles attributed to Limner include:

“The ancient story of the old dame and her pig”
“Our tom cat and his nine lives”
“Money: how old Brown made it, and… spent it”


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