T is for Toymaker
By BELLIS, James, 1741
James Bellis, Jeweller and Toyman, … Great Choice of Jewellers Work, curious Toys, Plate, Watches, and elegant Porcelain, at the most reasonable Rates. The. Utmost Value given for Old Plate, Jewels, and all Sorts of Curiosities
- Author: BELLIS, James
- Publication place: London
- Publisher: At his Shop in King-Street, Covent-Garden, London; and on the Walk at Tunbridge-Wells
- Publication date: c1741-1759
- Physical description: Engraved trade card.
- Dimensions: 65 by 95mm. (2.5 by 3.75 inches).
- Inventory reference: 17900
Sadly, Bellis’ premises at King Street were partially destroyed in a serious fire in 1759, after which he published a notice in The Public Advertiser offering to “handsomely reward for their Trouble” anyone who could recover any of his collection of “sundry Toys, as Smelling Bottles, Snuff-boxes and other Trinkets”. Following the fire, he relocated to a large shop at Number 9 Pall Mall. He died at home of an asthma attack on November 1, 1788, after a career spanning many decades.
The present trade card is sparsely decorated with a flourished frame presenting his address and a selection of his wares. Finally, he announces that he is willing to pay high prices “for Old Plate, Jewels, and all Sorts of Curiosities.