Thomson’s collaborator, reporter Adolphe Smith said that “The familiar sight of a poor woman holding a pale child in her arms and offering modest violets to the pedestrian, is pregnant with a poetry which rags, and dirt fail to obliterate.” The jobs, which were passed down between generations, required worked long hours and yielded a meager income.

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  • Title: Covent Garden Flower Women
  • Creator: John Thomson (Scottish, 1837-1921)
  • Date Created: 1877
  • Physical Dimensions: Image: 11 x 7.9 cm (4 5/16 x 3 1/8 in.); Paper: 11 x 7.9 cm (4 5/16 x 3 1/8 in.); Mounted: 27.1 x 20.8 cm (10 11/16 x 8 3/16 in.)
  • Provenance: (Antiquariat Dr. Jens Mattow, Berlin, Germany), The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Type: Photograph
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/2019.49
  • Medium: woodburytype
  • Series: Street Life in London
  • Inscriptions: Stamped in red ink on recto of mount: “COVENT GARDEN FLOWER WOMEN.”
  • Fun Fact: These are the real-life counterparts of Eliza Doolittle in the musical <em>My Fair Lady</em>, who started out selling flowers in Covent Garden.
  • Department: Photography
  • Culture: England, 19th century
  • Credit Line: Photography Discretionary Fund
  • Collection: PH - British 19th Century
  • Accession Number: 2019.49

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