Trade Card thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 53a

Trade Card

c.1764 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
A trade card was an advertisement, as well as a business card. It was also often used by the tradesman as a bill or receipt. This one is inscribed with a bill on the back and dated 'May 20 1764'.

Trading
William Hussey (active 1764) was a retailer and a dealer in porcelain. Such tradesmen were known as 'Chinamen'. They marketed their wares to the public, to export merchants and to other dealers. They usually sold a large range of ceramics including English china, Staffordshire pottery and Chinese porcelain, as well as glasswares and other luxury goods. On this trade card William Hussey advertises that he sells 'Japan Dressing Boxes for Ladies Toilets'. The term 'Japan' was used to refer to all lacquer goods, not only those from Japan.

Subject Depicted
The trade card has been decorated with Chinoiserie motifs. They include the two figures at the top, one with a pigtail, and the pagodas hung with bells. There is also a representation of a Chinese-style porcelain jar. Perhaps this style of decoration was chosen to emphasise the luxury aspect of William Hussey's trade, as well as advertise his stocks of expensive goods from East Asia.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
engraving and letterpress
Brief Description
Trade card for William Hussey, china and glass merchant, engraved by William Darling, London, c. 1764
Physical Description
Engraved trade card for William Hussey, a London china and glass merchant and importer of East Asian goods.
Dimensions
  • Paper height: 16.5cm
  • Paper width: 20.9cm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • Willm Hussey CHINA & GLASS MAN In Coventry Street, Piccadilly London Sells all sorts of China Glass and Stone Ware; Likewise Japan Dressing Boxes for Ladies Toilets, with Variety of India Fans &c. &c. Wholesale & Retail. NB. The above Goods for Exportation.
  • W. Darling fecit Newport Street (at bottom of card)
Gallery Label
British Galleries: Many of the larger English porcelain factories sold much of their output through London agents. William Hussey, for example, was an agent for the Bristol and Caughley factories. The distribution networks for all English ceramics were centred in London.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Given by Mr J. Harvey Bloom
Subject depicted
Summary
Object Type
A trade card was an advertisement, as well as a business card. It was also often used by the tradesman as a bill or receipt. This one is inscribed with a bill on the back and dated 'May 20 1764'.

Trading
William Hussey (active 1764) was a retailer and a dealer in porcelain. Such tradesmen were known as 'Chinamen'. They marketed their wares to the public, to export merchants and to other dealers. They usually sold a large range of ceramics including English china, Staffordshire pottery and Chinese porcelain, as well as glasswares and other luxury goods. On this trade card William Hussey advertises that he sells 'Japan Dressing Boxes for Ladies Toilets'. The term 'Japan' was used to refer to all lacquer goods, not only those from Japan.

Subject Depicted
The trade card has been decorated with Chinoiserie motifs. They include the two figures at the top, one with a pigtail, and the pagodas hung with bells. There is also a representation of a Chinese-style porcelain jar. Perhaps this style of decoration was chosen to emphasise the luxury aspect of William Hussey's trade, as well as advertise his stocks of expensive goods from East Asia.
Bibliographic Reference
Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1943, London: HMSO, 1956.
Collection
Accession Number
E.133-1943

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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