cigarette card

Cigarette card with a colour image of a woman with a basket balanced on her head, entitled 'Ripe Asparagus.' Text on reverse reads: 'Asparagus has for centuries been sold in the thoroughfares of London to the accompaniment of such odd cries as “Ripe speregas,” and “Ripe sparrowgrass.” One of the best known of the Roxburghe Ballads, now in the British Museum, and dating probably from the 17th century, records the cry as, “Here’s callyflowers and asparagus.” Not only vegetables, but such herbs as fatherfew, gilliflowers, rue, balm, hissop, scurvy-grass, &c., were sold in the streets.' Number 14 in a set of 25 cigarette cards entitled 'Cries of London'. Issued by John Player & Sons, a branch of the Imperial Tobacco Co. Ltd.

Collection Information

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