Coronavirus (COVID-19) While museums are closed, the Museum of London prints site is fully operational and we have added an FAQ page here.

Twelve Cries of London Done from the Life: 1760

Paul Sandby

Twelve Cries of London Done from the Life: 1760
4 0 c m
actual image size: 22cm x 30cm

Full image caption

This is the title page from Paul Sandby's print series 'Twelve London Cries of London done from the Life'. The young woman provides street entertainment in the form of a peep show, whilst a boy munches a pie at her feet. Behind her, a man limps past on crutches and a porter carries boxes which bear the titles of some of the prints contained in the series.

Sets of prints showing street vendors began to appear in the 16th century in countries across Europe. Sandby's set combines great realism with a technical mastery of the etching process. The inclusion of the sellers' cries in both English and French suggests that he may have foreseen a market for the prints on both sides of the Channel. On the other hand, at this point, there was a marked fashion for all things French. As Sandby plays the French verses off against images of some distinctly robust English street sellers, there was most likely a heavy dose of satire also intended.

As its title suggests, this set contains twelve prints. However, the set is subtitled 'Part 1st' implying further sets to come, and up to seventy-six drawings of street vendors exist, some of which are in the Museum of London's collection. Although these drawings were never made into prints, some of the characters depicted did find there way into other compositions.

Image Details

1760 AD - 1760 AD
Image Number

© Museum of London

buy a print

Select print type
Select size
How many prints?

buy a framed print

buy a canvas

buy a framed canvas