Calls and sounds of the Peking street peddlers

Paintings of street sellers and descriptions of their cries and jingles from Samuel Victor Constant's Calls, Sounds and Merchandise of the Peking Street Peddlers, written in 1936 as a master's thesis at the College of Chinese Studies.


This peddler carries a small gong about three inches in diameter fastened by three or four strings inside a metal ring which is on the end of a small stick. The stick is held up in the air about vertically and twisted with the fingers of the right hand.

Formerly these men carried a box with their wares but at the present time practically all have a small push cart on which are placed two wooden boxes. Various kinds of thread are carried – hemp, silk, cotton and embroidery threads. They also have needles of all kinds and sometimes a small assortment of face powder. Buttons will generally be found among the wares.