Smith, John Thomas (1766 London 1833). A Tankard Bearer. London’s water-carriers with the special bucket borne on the left shoulder, long towel on front and back to stay dry and the pouch on the left side. Etching. Inscribed: 4., otherwise as above. 7½ × 4½ in (19 × 11.3 cm).

John Thomas Smith, A Tankard Bearer

Beall E 49; Lipperh. Gcb 12; Exhibition Cat. Bremen, 1976, no. 39. – Sheet 20 of The Cries of London … Itinerant Traders of antient and modern Times, copied from rare engravings, or drawn from the life produced about 1819 and published 1839, here from a former by Overton, yet not from Beall E 10 (1st third of the 18th century).

Per already early established conduits the water was led into the City, where the inhabitants could fill it themselves or just have it brought into the house by carriers until, in the course of time, the houses were finally supplied directly by the water of the New River. One of the earliest representations of such a carrier, if not the first at all, is handed down by Georg (Joris) Hoefnagel (1542-1600). The dress of the present one corresponds to that of the time of Henry VIII (1491-1547), the cap to the one usually worn by his chancellor Thomas Morus. – On Smith see Nagler XVI, 529 f. + Thieme-Becker XXXI, 174.

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