In 1907, the Christmas shopping scene was no different. In the collection of Rouse Hill House & Farm is a David Jones Christmas catalogue that assures shoppers “The Puzzling Christmas Question…Answered by David Jones Ltd’.
The cover depicts a jolly Santa complete with hat and abundant gift sack. Inside, 32 pages offer up all manner of items such as silver mounted toilet ware for the dressing table, handbags, picnic baskets, stands for hat pins, toys and games, delicate lace collars and scarves. The men are not forgotten with silver shaving equipment, leather cigar cases and grooming sets. There is also elegant table ware including a sterling silver sweet tray and a silver plated dinner gong.
The catalogue may well have been the inspiration for many purchases, as held in the collection of Rouse Hill House is a lace scarf that one imagines was purchased after being admired within its pages.
It is easy to picture the children of the Rouse and Terry household pouring over the catalogue, imaging the gifts they may receive, just as children do today.
Merry Christmas and happy shopping!
You can see a selection of our digitised Trade Catalogues collection on the Internet Archive.