Advert for the London & Suburban Hire Furnishing Company
Medium: Print on paper
In an era of rigid social etiquette and class aspiration, the appearance of wealth was almost as important as wealth itself. One of the signifiers of this was the furniture in middle-class Victorian households. With the introduction of hire-purchase, families who could not afford to buy ornate pieces of furniture in one go could now do so in instalments. The result was living rooms and parlours that were absolutely packed with large, bulky, and heavily ornamental furniture. Quantity and volume very often outdid taste and utility.