M is for Mercer
By MASON [Miles]; LUCAS [Benjamin]; and HIGGONS , 1756

Mason, Lucas & Higgons Mercers

  • Author: MASON [Miles]; LUCAS [Benjamin]; and HIGGONS
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: at the Lamb in Shandois Street
  • Publication date: c1756-1771
  • Physical description: Engraved trade card.
  • Dimensions: 195 by 160mm. (7.75 by 6.25 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 17972


Before the nineteenth century, Chandos Street in London’s Covent Garden was sometimes known as Shandois Street. The road itself was named after the Duke of Chandos who committed to developing the surrounding area at the beginning of the eighteenth century, and who was variously referred to in certain early documents as the Duke of Shandois, or the Lord Shandois. The street name appears as Shandois on the trade card of Mason, Lucas & Higgons, three mercers who worked in partnership at the sign of the Lamb during the 1750s and 1760s.

There exist a number of trade cards related to this establishment, the earliest being those of “Lucas & Co” and “Mason, Lucas & Higgons”, both from 1756. Other examples of the latter exists from 1759, 1762 and 1765. Another trade card from 1772 advertises the services of “Lucas, Higgons, Mason & Guest” at “Shandois Street”, and there is also a receipt from the same year listing just “Mason, Lucas & Guest”, by which time they appear to have adopted the more conventional spelling of “Chandos Street” for their address. These trade cards can all be dated by the manuscript notes found on either the recto or verso, recording various sales.

The present card lists the huge number of fabrics and haberdashery items available from the mercers, including “Genoa & Dutch Velvets, Brocades, Damasks, Paduasoys, Rasdemores, Sattins, Tabbys, Arinozeens, Ducapes, Sergedusoys, Mantuas, Strip’d and Plain Lustrings”. A final note also recommends them “for Mourning of particular good Mixtures, Black & White Bombazeens, also Rich figur’d & other Sillks for Gentlemens wear”. This text is framed by an elaborate border and surmounted by an illustration of a lamb in reference to their street sign.


  1. BM Heal 84.166

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