Dora Maar

Pearly King collecting money for the Empire Day

1935

In Tate Modern

Artist
Dora Maar 1907–1997
Medium
Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper
Dimensions
Image: 273 x 235 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Gift Eric and Louise Franck London Collection 2013
Reference
P13384

Display caption

The charitable tradition of Pearly Kings and Queens, which continues today, originated in Victorian London. They evolved from ‘Coster Kings and Queens’, elected leaders of London’s street vendors, who traded independently but collected for fellow traders who had fallen on hard times. The pearly buttons were an imitation of fashionable dress in 20th-century high society.

Gallery label, November 2019

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