We have a range of items that are popular that you may be interested in
Pearly King suit decorated with pearl buttons. The suit, comprising a jacket, waistcoat, trousers, tie and braces was worn by Fred Bliss, Pearly King of Islington. On the back of the jacket is written in buttons 'F. Bliss. Pearly King of Islington'.
Pearly Kings evolved from the costermongers, tough market traders who decorated their battered work clothing with pearly flashes. In 1875 the road sweeper and rat catcher Henry Croft took this a stage further and smothered an old dress suit and top hat in patterns of mother-of-pearl buttons that he found discarded in the street. His decoration incorporated patterns, symbols and slogans including ‘All for Charity’. Henry was influenced by the costers ‘brotherly’ and charitable attitude to each other.
Costers working in each London borough nominated a King and Queen family to represent their rights and to raise funds for those who had fallen on hard times. Henry joined the costers on their hospital fund raising parades and carnivals. Soon all the Coster families adopted his idea of smothering their clothes in pearlies to attract greater funds for their charities.
Not every record in Collections Online is complete. Some have low quality images designed purely for recognition, while some have been catalogued only to a basic standard. This graphic is designed to give you an impression of the quality of data you can see. 100% meets all our current data standards and has a high quality image, 20% is a basic record with no image. Individual record quality can change over time as new photography is carried out and records are worked on.X