Ralph Mills

Objects of Delight



an illustration of an image-seller with his tray of figurines on his head

This section consists of a gallery of contemporary visualisations of image-sellers and their wares, which range from crude woodcuts to photographic postcards, including paintings, drawings and newspaper illustrations, and range in date from the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth. The gallery is intended to be actively used as a reference source to accompany and build on the text of the thesis, and is presented in roughly chronological order. It can of course be browsed without reference to the text. This is the first time images of image-sellers and their wares have been collected together to allow comparison and identification.

The illustrations are a mixture of reproductions of high-resolution originals (a minority), a few scanned from publications, and digital images captured from web sites and other online sources. Some of the latter are of poor original quality, and the scans from books have obviously originally been screened for printing. Some have been trimmed of excess material (frames, mattes etc.).

Copyright note: The illustrations are reproduced here for the purpose of my academic research only and cannot be assumed to be in the public domain. Should you be the copyright owner of the original image nd wish it to be removed, please inform me at ralph@ralphmills.com and I will act immediately.

Each image is introduced here as a thumbnail or detail. Each thumbnail links to a larger version: in following this link you should be aware that the original may be copyrighted, so please do not copy or otherwise reproduce the image without checking its copyright status.

Last updated February 2020


Since submitting my PhD thesis I have continued to research my topic, and have come across a number of additional images. These are included here, though the information I have collected on each may not be complete. I shall be adding more information as I acquire it.