Knives, Scissors, and Razors to Grind: 1795

Giovanni Vendramini

Knives, Scissors, and Razors to Grind: 1795
4 0 c m
actual image size: 22cm x 29cm

Full image caption

One of a series of engravings derived from a set of paintings by Francis Wheatley entitled The ‘Cries of London’, ‘’ Knives, Scissors and Razors to Grind” features a knife grinder in the process of sharpening a pair of scissors for an attractive lady. Wheatley’s paintings of the ‘Cries’ were exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1792 and 1795 and were extremely popular. As the paintings attracted a large amount of attention Colnaghi agreed to publish a set of engravings, of which this is one.

They portrayed a range of idealised street vendors selling a range of goods including primroses, milk, oranges, matches, mackerel, cherries and peas and highlight the fact that these street sellers advertised their goods with a musical shout or a melodic rhyme. They present a sanitised view of the London streets and through their frequent reproduction are in part responsible for the persistence of this romanticised view life on the London streets.

© Museum of London

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