Ginger bread nuts: 1839

John Bowyer Nichols and Son

 
Ginger bread nuts: 1839
4 0 c m
 
30cm
actual image size: 19cm x 32cm

Full image caption

Ginger bread nuts. Full-length portrait of Daniel Clarey, Irishman seller of ginger bread nuts by lottery. This etching was published in T. Smith's 'The Cries of London', in 1839. Described as an industrious Irishman, Daniel Clarey had lost a leg fighting for his country as a seaman. Children paid a halfpenny to try their luck at winning his wares. 'Rendered almost destitute by the loss of this limb, he was nevertheless not wanting in wit to gain a livelihood and became a vendor of gingerbread-nuts, which he disposed of by way of lottery…The hollow box held by Clarey had twenty-seven holes variously numbered, and any one of the strings at the bottom of the box being pulled causes a doll's head to appear at the hole, which decides, according to its number, the good or ill-fortune of the halfpenny adventurer'.

© Museum of London

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