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!

Hairdressing and Cosmetics

From wigs to tongue scrapers, perfumers and barbers of the eighteenth-century provided a wealth of services and products to prepare their clients for polite society.

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Wine: Exploring Lord Fairfax’s Cellar

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.

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Shopping for Health: Apothecaries

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.

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Home Furnishings: Shopping for the home

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.

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Sipping Luxury

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.

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