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Victorian Bazaars and Arcades

Another type of establishment you'll find here is the "English bazaar" distinguished as such by the manner in which sales and purchases are made. These are not the market type bazaars you'd find in Egypt or Africa, but rather retail shops selling a variety of sundries rather than just one type of goods. We'll now visit a few of them.

Soho Bazaar

The finest of all of London's bazaars, the Soho Bazaar, occupies several buildings on the northwest corner of Soho Square. It consists of stalls and two-sided open counters on two separate floors. Mostly women rent the stalls and pay somewhere between two and three shillings per day for a four-foot counter. You will find sold here, almost exclusively, items pertaining to dress and personal decoration of ladies and children (millinery, lace, gloves, jewelry, etc.). At the height of the season, you will see carriage after carriage lined up near the building testifying to the extent of visits paid by the upper classes. The rules here are strict. The women who serve the stalls must wear clothes of a plain and modest style. The wares must all be displayed by a designated time in the morning, or the renter will be fined. As the rent on the stalls is paid each day, if the renter is ill, she must pay for the services of a substitute who is approved by the management. Despite its plain and simple interior, it is a well-ordered institution.

The Pantheon Bazaar

Upon passing through the entrance porch on Oxford Street, we enter the Pantheon Bazaar's vestibule, decorated with several sculptures and a small conservatory of plants and evergreen shrubs. You'll also see a fountain and basin that has been filled with goldfish. Going up a stairway we enter a series of rooms which feature a picture gallery. The pictures being exhibited are of a moderate value and are placed here for sale; the proprietors of the bazaar receiving a commission or percentage when sold. Continuing on we gain entrance to an open gallery or upper floor toy bazaar. Looking down you'll see that the counters are arranged in a very systematic order and are filled with a variety of trinkets. Walking through the aisles we see a counter of millinery articles, another of lace, a third holds gloves and hosiery. Others contain a myriad assortment of cutlery, jewelry, toys, children's clothing, books, sheet music, porcelain and glass ornaments, alabaster figurines, feathers and a host of other things. A young woman attends each counter as at the Soho Bazaar.

The Pantechnicon

The Pantechnicon, which was destroyed by in fire in 1873, but since rebuilt, has for sale the "larger" commodities. It is located near Belgraye Square and occupies two masses of building on opposite sides of a narrow street. It is here that you can purchase a dress carriage or a light gig. Another department features the sale of furniture, consisting of several long rooms or galleries, and is filled with pianofortes, tables, sideboards, chests of drawers, beds, carpets and a variety of other household items. There is also a wine department as well as a small toy department.

The Burlington Arcade

Situated on Piccadilly, near Old Bond Street, the Burlington Arcade consists of a covered walk between a double row of shops, similar to a Parisian passage, and is tenanted by bonnet-makers, ladies' boot makers, and sellers of knick-knacks. See pictures below.

Burlington Arcade outside view Burlington Arcade inside view
pearl buttonLadies Wear pearl buttonLadies Accessories pearl buttonJewelry pearl buttonMenswear
pearl buttonGirls Clothing pearl buttonBoys Clothing pearl buttonToys pearl buttonHousewares
pearl buttonCooperatives pearl buttonSecond Hand Shops pearl buttonBazaars  

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