Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Peasant Shops elsewhere

There was a Peasant Shop in Gomshall, although I am not clear how and whether this was related in any way to the Haslemere Peasants.  I have come across a postcard of the shop.  The shop appears to be of a wooden temporary type structure reminiscent of some of the Haslemere Peasant Arts buildings at the time, which appear to have been Canadian hutment buildings repurposed from the camp at Bramshott in the First World War.

The Peasant Shop, Gomshall

It would appear that the shop closed in 1923 due to bankruptcy.

The London Gazette
22 June 1923
Elsewhere in the country, I have found references to a Peasant Shop in London.   This was not part of the Peasant Arts Guild.

The Times 8 May 1926 advertised a Peasant Shop in Theobald's Road, London:

"Smocks and smocked frocks, pottery, painted and carved woodwork.  Pleasing wedding presents at the Peasant Shop, 41-42 Devonshire-street, Theobald's road, W.C, Museum 7602."

Peasant Shop advert from
The Times (8 May 1926)
I found this intriguing, and searching a little further I have seen a reference to this shop back in 2002 with someone saying "I have a great aunt (also a Carrie) who was on the fringes of the Bloomsbury movement and opened The Peasant Shop in 1919 or perhaps earlier at 41 Devonshire Street. She sold decorated painted furniture, pictures, textiles, ceramics, etc.  Apparently her shop was frequented by some well known names.  I would love to find out more about her. She overlapped with the famous Omega Studio opened in 1912 by Roger Fry,Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, etc".  

I do not understand where the Peasant Shop was located, as it seems to give two different roads as the  address.  Given that the phone number is given as "museum", I would place it on the present day Theobald's Road, but I do not understand the Devonshire Street reference, which in the present day is located further towards Regents Park, and a few streets away from 83 New Cavendish Street where the Peasant Society was based at least as late as 1910.  

The shop advertised a room to let in 1916 and 1917 in the The Herald.

from The Herald, 24 February 1917 

I have found a better formatted advert in The London Mercury (February 1925, Volume XI, No.64) 

The London Mercury
February 1925, Volume XI, No. 64
I have found the reference to the shop in something online which is referred to as The Letters of Katherine Mansfield Volume 1(here), I do not understand it!
"... I do hope they give you a bed among the pottery. They did. It was the Peasant Shop in Devonshire St., and my landlady was kindness itself.  Can you choose your jug and basin from the stock? I saw that shop the day Munro flouted me and nearly entered in (Forgive me; I am all sticky with eating so much and such continuous Shakespeare)."

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