Ladies Beavers and the Sign of the Female Ass

I have reported on eighteenth-century trade cards before (here and here) and am happy to post these interesting and curious trade cards that are recently come to the fore.

Catherine_West_trade_card_c1733-69_01a_LWLTrade card of hatter, Catherine West, circa 1733-69. (Lewis Walpole Library)

Catherine West
at the Hatt & Seven Starr’s in Monmouth Street the
Corner of Browns Gardens Facing the Seven Dials

Sells all sorts of Womens Apparel Both New & Second Hand Wholesale & Retail at Reasonable Rates viz. Silk Gowns, Scarlet Cloaks, Market Womens Cloaks, all Manner of Stuffs in the Piece, Ruſsells, Stuffs Damasks, Cambletts, Cambletees, Prunell’s, Callamancoe’s, Irish Stuffs, Joans, Spinning & Made in the Genteleſt Manner, Likewiſe Gives Ready Money for Womens Apparel Rich or Plain.
N.B. at the Above Place are Sold Ladies Beavers, Mens Hatts New or Second Hand by ye Maker John West.

William_Brewis_c1804_01a_Bodleian_LibrariesTrade card of William Brewis, circa 1804. (Bodleian Libraries)



RESPECTFULLY begs leave to inform the Inhabitants of Warkworth and its Neighbourhood, that he has made a freſh Commencement in the above Buſineſſes, and hopes by his much amended Conduct and ſteady Attention, that he will merit the Favour of the Public.
   W.B. Shaves and Cuts Hair in the firſt faſhion, makes Perukes to any Pattern, Poles and Bleeds Horſes with the greateſt Dexterity, Lights Lamps by the Year or Quarter, Blacks Shoes at Five Minutes Notice, lets out to hire a Female Aſs by the Day, Week, Month, or Quarter.
   N.B. When a Stage Keeper is wanted, apply to the above.
   ** An Apprentice wanted, with whom a Premium is expected.

Auguſt 1, 1804.

Jack Plane


About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
This entry was posted in 17th and 18th Century Culture and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Ladies Beavers and the Sign of the Female Ass

  1. Potomacker says:

    Honestly, I didn’t giggle. Do you whether the beavers mentioned refer to hats or other objects made from fur?


  2. Tim Caveny says:

    Well,I certainly giggled.


  3. Karl says:

    Dear Maſter Brewiſ, is it necessary to poſeſs a female aſs in order to qualify for apprenticeſhip? What working qualities hath a female aſs that make it more deſirable than a male?

    Certainly was multi-talented


  4. D.B. Laney says:

    Ah, creativity and industry. A multi-tasker, to boot. What ever happened to folks like Mr. Brewis? I wonder that he was, perhaps, a joyner, nonpareil, as well.


  5. Clark Schoonover says:

    Thank you for these. What does the N.B. stand for please.


  6. ged gardiner says:

    “his much amended conduct” – what had he been up to?


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