Monday, 29 July 2013

For sale

I was amused to see this charming young lady in a painting by James Collinson entitled ‘For sale’ at Nottingham Castle. Her inviting look and rosy cheeks make you wonder what is for sale here. She’s holding a little purse – is she buying it or selling it, or inviting us to buy it for her or even selling herself. I’ve been doing some research into Victorian needlework and these sales of work. Charlotte Bronte is particularly scathing about them in several of her novels. They epitomise the era so well though. Many well to do young women had nothing to do except make useless craft gifts which they then tried to sell to their friends and family for charity. In many ways a metaphor for the useless lives these poor girls were forced to live.

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