Esoteric London

No. 757: Berrymede Road, W4

Posted in Graffiti, London Types, Markets by esotericlondon on January 22, 2013

Berrymede Road, London, W4. Photo © Roger Dean 2012

The Wild Tribes of London – Watts Phillips, 1855:

Among the groups that now crowd the [Petticoat] Lane, several figures arrest our attention, both from peculiarity of aspect and strangeness of apparel. This old man, with a face of a bilious-golden hue, with a cunning eye and restless avaricious mouth, as though thirsting for the Croesus drink of gold, is clad in a dingy robe, fastened round the waist by a twisted shawl. He is a pearl-merchant, from Ceylon, and walks slowly along, combing a beard of saffron hue, with nails that curve inwards like the talons of an eagle. He pauses only to haggle with a boy for one of those sticky and unpleasant-looking cakes, which he carries in a tray before him, and which seem manufactured only for the purpose of catching vagrant flies.

[ The tile in the photograph above is the work of the renegade potter Carrie Reichardt aka The Baroness. To see more of Carrie’s work or to purchase her crockery, hand printed tiles or screen prints visit her website by clicking here. R.D.]