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Selling Guinea Pigs by George Morland 1789

SiftingthepastYCBA_Selling Guinea Pigs_George Morland (1763–1804)_1789George Morland (1763–1804)  from the Yale Center for British Art

Detail: Hat, walking stick, basket, guinea pig, man’s shoe, work smock, girls dress, ladies gloves, house

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  1. This picture and its date set me to wondering when guinea pigs, which are native to the Andes, were first kept in Britain and the rest of Europe. Rather early for a New World animal, as it turns out. Wikipedia says guinea pigs were brought to Europe by traders in the sixteenth century, and Queen Elizabeth I is said to have owned one. The origin of the animal’s popular name is a subject of much conjecture. “Non-pigs that aren’t from Guinea” would be a more accurate description.

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