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14th October 2022

'La Récureuse' (trans. scourer or scrubber, 1737, Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris) by André Bouys (1655-1740) is a rare painting of someone polishing silver. Yet this was once a regular part of cleaning in every household which owned silverware. It was also time-consuming. This is why Mollie Panter-Downes, in One Fine Day and Minnie’s Room, uses polishing silver as an example of what no-one has time for after the war when they no longer have servants.

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