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Trade card of James Wade

“Tea, Coffee, Chocolate and Snuff Seller”, Bristol, 1754 Letterpress on laid paper.

This mid-eighteenth-century trade card for a grocer’s shop in Bristol also served (on the reverse) as an invoice for purchases made by the Blathwayt family of Somerset, including Bohea tea and chocolate. Wade’s card was designed to appeal to the ‘middling’ and ‘better’ sorts of provincial society, a growing market of consumers for exotic foods. It also demonstrates an awareness of metropolitan competition and the significance of ‘polite’ language and identities: Wade’s commodities are described as being as being ‘as Cheap as in London’ and produced ‘in the neatest Manner’.

S.G. Perceval Bequest, 1922

Cat. no. 44

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