Ye Olde English Customs - Cowcumbers


This delicious little tea- plate is one of a series called Ye Olde English Customs. We are selling five – four of which seem to be based on the traditional ‘Cries of London’. The full ‘Cry of London’ was ‘Buy my sweet cowcumbers* for pickling’ (notice the jars of pickled cucumbers to the side of the main picture). 

It was made soon after 1940 by Burgess & Leigh (later known as Burleigh). Under the inscription on the back (see photo below) is their famous beehive back stamp.

The drawing and painting is entirely mid 20th century in style – hand coloured.

The other four we are selling are scattered around our shop - we are not quite sure where they are but we do know that they would look great on your kitchen wall or whatever. These tea plates are 6 inches in diameter. Guaranteed cowcumber sandwich proof, but not dishwasher safe.

We might nibble a bit off the price.. visit our negotiator...

Condition – good.

“A cucumber should be well sliced and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing.”

Dr Samuel Johnson

Samuel Pepys was convinced that one of his friends died from eating “cowcumbers”:

‘This day Sir W. Batten tells me that Mr. Newburne (of whom the nickname came up among us forarse Tom Newburne) is dead of eating cowcumbers, of which, the other day, I heard another, I think Sir Nicholas Crisp’s son.’

*Cowcumber was quite a common way of spelling cucumber in the 17th and 18th centuries – Samuel Pepys attributed this to the fact that they were in his view only fit to be fed to cows. Well you did ask.


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