A Nation of Shopkeepers : Trade Ephemera from 1654 to the 1860s in the John Johnson Collection

Julie Anne Lambert

The John Johnson collection is one of the worlds most important collections of printed ephemera. This exhibition catalogue focuses on just one of the many subject areas of the Collection: trades and shops. Beginning in an age before street numbering, with evocative hanging shop signs and roaming street criers laden with their wares, and ending in the confident days of the Great Exhibition and its aftermath, this exhibition catalogue provides an overview of the development of trade. The catalogue is richly illustrated with contemporary trade cards, bill headings, prints and games, many of which have not been previously reproduced. These miniature works of art depict shops and products, tradesmen and trades and give us fascinating insights into the wealth of imported goods available, and into the roles of apprentices, women and itinerant tradesmen. With fulsome bibliography and index. Published to accompany the exhibition at the Bodleian Library in 2001, this catalogue is fully-illustrated in colour.