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Inscription

by unknown hand, top center in graphite: 69; lower right in graphite: 91.4427; lower right in graphite: B; on verso, by unknown hand, upper center in graphite: 70; center in typeset print on paper label: YOUNG LADY AND SERVANT. / YOUNG lady is rarely seen in the streets without her 'lady's maid.' The duties of this latter are by no means / confined to the chamber, or to the adornment of her young mistress. She is always within hail, generally / within sight; and is expected to be ready whenever a walk is proposed, a visit to be paid, or shopping to / be done. She generally follows close behind her employer, but, (according to the degree of familiarity allowed), / sometimes walks by her side. She carries the umbrella to shade her mistress from the sun or shelter her from the / rain; and, as in other lands, the mistress and maid often become very attached to each other. Notwithstand- / ing the freedom accorded to woman in Japan, she is not considered on the same footing as man. Thus we do not / see in her such haughtiness of bearing towards her domestics or inferiors of her own sex, as we generally notice among / men; and it often happens that as a young lady and her abigail trot along together, a casual observer would see so / little difference between them, that they might be taken for friends of equal degree.

Provenance

Michael and Jane Wilson, Wilson Centre for Photography, London, acquired 1991; gift to NGA, 2012.