The street here (the fashionable Strand) is narrower, showing something of the oppressive effect of trade signs overhanging the street. At the end of the street can be seen the Temple Bar.
The nearest sign, clearly that of an inn, has not only a painting of a ship, but also a three-dimensional bunch of grapes. This derives from the Roman device of the ‘bush’, a bundle of vine leaves hung on a chain outside a ‘taberna’ to indicate that new wine was available.
The print is a satire of ‘smarts’ or ‘beaux’ (the term ‘dandy’ was not common until c. 1813). A fop, having vented his temper on some butchers, has been suspended by them from a meat-hook. The print shows the dress of the time, the finery of the fashionable clientele contrasting strongly with the working clothes of the butchers and tradeswomen. Butchers’, poulterers’ and fishmongers’ shops were traditionally open-fronted.
JJ Trades and Professions 6 (73)
© Bodleian Library 2001