Chestnuts were just one of the items sold on the streets of London by vendors. Large engravings of hawkers in books such as The Cryes of the City of London give today's readers a glimpse of some of the other common and unusual wares peddled: pins, baskets, singing glasses (a long glass cylinder fitted with reeds and a mouthpiece used as a horn), wigs, artichokes, brooms, knives, and combs.
Books containing engraved portraits of street criers, such as The Cryes of the City of London, become popular in the late seventeenth century; they evolved from individual broadsides filled with tiny figures in rows to publications of large individual portraits in book form. The brainchild of printseller Pierce Tempest, The Cryes of the City of London first appeared in 1687. This bestseller was expanded and reprinted many times until 1821.