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Glasgow shopkeeper

Burrell Collection Photo Library

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Glasgow shopkeeper

A Glasgow shopkeeper of the 1790s, by an unknown artist.

This unidentified woman is obviously prosperous, as she has gold earrings and a gold buckle on her belt, as well as a jet necklace. She is wearing a muslin cap and a dress with a fashionably high waist. In 1789 only two of the seventy-two grocers in Glasgow were women.

The paper-wrapped cones on the counter and the shelves are loaves of sugar. The other imported goods displayed on the counter are lemons in a basket and the can of Hysan tea. There is a friendly society box on the shelf behind, which would have contained papers and documents belonging to the society. This suggests that the society may have met at her shop, and even that she played a significant role in its affairs.

Reference: 800.92.47

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums

Keywords:
fashions, friendly societies, friendly society boxes, gold buckles, grocers, grocery shops, jewellery, lemons, muslin caps, oil paintings, shopkeepers, sugar loaves, tea, women



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