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Engraving depicting a 'Statute Hall for Hiring Servants'; 1770

John Goldar

Engraving depicting a 'Statute Hall for Hiring Servants'; 1770
3 0 c m
actual image size: 28cm x 22cm

Full image caption

An engraving depicting a 'Statute Hall for Hiring Servants' after a painting by Philip Dawes. Published by Robert Sayer of 53 Fleet Street, 1770.
This engraving was made by John Goldar, an Oxford born artist and print seller. For the most part Goldar earned his living copying the work of more well known artists such as John Collet. He worked for book and print sellers, including Robert Sayer, but also published himself at various points in his career.

This picture is an engraving made from a comic painting of a statute hall by Philip Dawes. Statute halls were private agencies for hiring domestic servants. The servants themselves would also pay the statute hall to get them a job. Employers would visit the hall where they could inspect servants 'like cattle' as one London newspaper put it. In this scene both a male and female servant are being inspected by would-be employers in the foreground. Statute halls would also send servants to employers' homes for inspection and interview. In the background of this picture a girl is being sent with a letter to a Mrs Coupler of Covent Garden. Statute halls had a bad reputation in society at large. They were reputed to take money from people under the false pretence of finding them work. The artist illustrates this popular perception by calling this one 'Cheatall's new statute hall'.

Image Details

1770 AD - 1770 AD
Image Number

© Museum of London

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