Trade Card

1730-1742 (made)
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
This object is a printed trade card. Trade cards were business cards and advertisements. Tradesmen often also used them to write receipts or bills on.

Subject Depicted
The trade card depicts the interior of Christopher Gibson's upholstery shop in St Paul's Churchyard, London. Little is known of Christopher Gibson's upholstery business, which is recorded from 1730 to 1745, except that on two occasions he supplied chairs to the East India Company for furnishing East India Company House in leadenhall Street, London.

Several upholsterers can be seen at work around the shop, and a wide range of goods is displayed. There are several cane chairs, chairs with upholstered seats, rolls of fabric, a mirror and an angel bed (a bed with a canopy which attaches to the back wall). Funerary 'hatchments' (the coats of arms on black backgrounds) can also been seen hanging near the stairs.

Although the trade card is probably not an accurate representation of the interior of Christopher Gibson's shop, all the objects included would have been chosen to show the range of goods that Gibson could supply. The fact that the funerary equipment is included therefore suggests that Gibson's business included the furnishing of funerals alongside the upholstery of furniture.

The well-dressed man in the centre is possibly meant to be Christopher Gibson himself, showing a chair to two female customers.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Etching, ink on paper
Brief Description
Christopher Gibson's upholsterer's trade card
Physical Description
Trade card
Dimensions
  • Unmounted height: 17.2cm
  • Width: 21cm
Gallery Label
British Galleries: Christopher Gibson's shop was probably less grand than this in real life, but his trade card shows the variety of wares produced by the upholsterer's workshops, including chairs and a bed, with its tester or roof hanging from the ceiling. The diamond-shaped boards on the left are hatchments, supplied for use at funerals.(27/03/2003)
Object history
Printed in London
Summary
Object Type
This object is a printed trade card. Trade cards were business cards and advertisements. Tradesmen often also used them to write receipts or bills on.

Subject Depicted
The trade card depicts the interior of Christopher Gibson's upholstery shop in St Paul's Churchyard, London. Little is known of Christopher Gibson's upholstery business, which is recorded from 1730 to 1745, except that on two occasions he supplied chairs to the East India Company for furnishing East India Company House in leadenhall Street, London.

Several upholsterers can be seen at work around the shop, and a wide range of goods is displayed. There are several cane chairs, chairs with upholstered seats, rolls of fabric, a mirror and an angel bed (a bed with a canopy which attaches to the back wall). Funerary 'hatchments' (the coats of arms on black backgrounds) can also been seen hanging near the stairs.

Although the trade card is probably not an accurate representation of the interior of Christopher Gibson's shop, all the objects included would have been chosen to show the range of goods that Gibson could supply. The fact that the funerary equipment is included therefore suggests that Gibson's business included the furnishing of funerals alongside the upholstery of furniture.

The well-dressed man in the centre is possibly meant to be Christopher Gibson himself, showing a chair to two female customers.
Collection
Accession Number
14435:60

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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