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Do you want any brick dust?: 1799

Thomas Rowlandson

Do you want any brick dust?: 1799
4 0 c m
actual image size: 22cm x 28cm

Full image caption

A street vendor is shown selling brick-dust but his attention is primarily focused on the pretty young maid on the doorstep. An elderly woman from within the house seems about to come to the rescue. The donkey seen on the left transported the dust from house to house, as was the custom.

It isn't clear what purpose brick-dust might have served but, possibly, it was used as a household scourer. As brick-making was a major London industry, supplies of the dust were presumably plentiful and cheap.

This is the fourth plate of Rowlandson's 1799 series 'Cries of London', which comprised eight images of street criers in total. The artist revisited street cries several years later and again in 1820, when his final series on the subject was published. The Museum of London also holds the original drawing for this print.

Image Details

1799 AD - 1799 AD
Image Number

© Museum of London

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