Goods and Services
What’s on your shopping list this week? Food? Wine? Clothes? Something for the house? Take a look at what would have been on a shopping list three hundred years ago – it might surprise you!
Textile retailers worked cohesively to produce fashionable luxury garments. Mantua-makers and milliners worked to design and create the gowns, whilst drapers and haberdashers provided fabrics and ready-made goods necessary for their completion.
Wine was considered essential to maintaining a genteel or aristocratic lifestyle in the eighteenth century. A host’s generosity, wealth and taste were all reflected in the quality and variety of the wines he had to offer.
Georgian Britain’s preoccupation with health and disease provided abundant trade for apothecaries. Apothecary shops selling an array of medicines and drugs were plentiful, not least of all in regional centres such as York.
Papers, paint, damask fabrics, decorative borders, tassels, fringing, bed hangings, curtains and rugs: opportunities for elevating one’s house beyond mere architecture, and enhancing it with beauty, comfort and fashionability were endless.
A fascination with all things new and exotic fuelled the rising popularity of three beverages: chocolate, coffee and tea. Part of their allure was their colonial origins, symbolising growing Britain’s imperial strength.
A fashionable Georgian house included all the china and silver and gold plate necessary to entertain in a manner befitting the status of its owner. By the 1740s-1750s English china was becoming highly successful. Manufacturers began opening their own china showrooms to showcase their wares.