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Widow Costard’s cow and goods – Penny 1782

Posted by on April 2, 2012

Edward Penny, 1714-1791  from Yale Center for British Art

This is a beautiful scene with an interesting array of clothing to see.   Check out the difference in the clothing between the to gentlemen in the painting and notice the style of the clothing on the old lady.

Detail: bellows, coal tongs,  skimmer, dipper, cooking pot, copper lid, spoon, shoes, buckles, men’s clothing, breeches, waistcoat, coat, tricorn, cow, cottage, cloth cap, money bag, purse, walking stick, windows, thatch roof.

0 Responses to Widow Costard’s cow and goods – Penny 1782

  1. timbushong

    Is she being forced to sell? Is this a sad picture? I’m at a loss as to describe my emotions!

    • Jon Townsend

      She is being forced to sell everything to pay the taxes, The man on the right is about to pay it off for her. So it is good…

  2. silhouettesbyhand

    I find interesting that she has short sleeves, although this 1782 is rarely (never) considered a short-sleeved era.

    • Jon Townsend

      Yes, I found that odd also… The hat does not seem to fit her well either. Is she wearing a girls dress? I looks to be plenty long. Hmm, Maybe there is more to the story here.

      • Jennifer Emmons

        I took it for granted that she simply had her 3/4 length sleeves rolled up, perhaps left there from doing laundry or other arduous task. That said, they are high up her arms.

  3. timbushong

    “She is being forced to sell everything to pay the taxes”

    Oh- so she is our future??? (o:

  4. Penny

    I don’t see that her sleeves are rolled up. They truly look like 3/4 or half sleeves. Very interesting! Maybe she sold the rest as part of her tax settelment 🙂

  5. Ruthie

    At the time of the painting there was no Old Age Pension or National Health Service in the UK, so Widow Costard’s Taxes were going to support the monarchy and the army, and an army of placemen, churchmen etc, and no-one else’s taxes served to support her in her sad old age. What we are seeing is an eighteenth century Good Samaritan.

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