"Our Little Pedlars"

Quarter-plate ambrotype, circa 1855-1860


The stone building, with its broken-out windowpanes, seems a strange choice for the background of this photograph; perhaps it was the tannery that supplied the hides and bags of wool that appear to be the peddler's merchandise.

The title is taken from a pencil inscription found inside the folding leather case that houses this image. Because it is plural, it seems to refer to both the driver and the horse. We are left wondering whether the inscription is benevolent--or a way of equating a man and an animal that were both someone's property.


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