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9th May 2008 at 01:00
In an exhibition containing dozens of fascinating objects, photographs, pieces of information and examples of archive material dating from medieval times to the present day, some of the most memorable include a pair of men's shiny brown patent platform shoes (circa 1970), a selection of contemporary shopping lists and an ancient badger's bone
In an exhibition containing dozens of fascinating objects, photographs, pieces of information and examples of archive material dating from medieval times to the present day, some of the most memorable include a pair of men's shiny brown patent platform shoes (circa 1970), a selection of contemporary shopping lists and an ancient badger's bone.

All feature in House to Mouse: A History of Shopping for Food and Clothes in Perth, running at Perth Museum and Art Gallery until October and aimed at upper primary classes, secondary schools and colleges.

We are not told who the shoes belonged to (probably to save the blushes of the owner), and the shopping lists make you wonder who had gone out to buy: "lime, Pimms, mint, burgers, Irn Bru - diet, Warburton's bread, eye drops".

Knife marks on the badger's bone show that it had been butchered in medieval times, when badger meat was traded in Perth's markets.

House to Mouse points out in its introduction that clothes shopping is a fairly recent activity. From the Stone Age to the beginning of the 20th century, most people made and mended their own clothes. Food shopping, on the other hand, has been on the go in Perth, and elsewhere, for a thousand years, with its origins at fairs and markets.

This exhaustive exhibition also traces the history and development of shops themselves, from the 12th century, when a tray hanging from a market trader's neck was considered a "shop", to the super-stores of today.

House to Mouse covers the movement of goods, trading laws, advertising, cash and credit, and survival on the high street, and even includes a list of common sayings that have their origins in shopping, such as "under the counter", "above board" and "take stock".

T 01738 632488; www.pkc.gov.ukmuseums.

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