A young barefooted woman wearing a patched-up dress sells matches in front of the Bank of England. The book offers the following information:
Of all the poor itinerants of London the match-sellers are the poorest, and subsist as much by donations as by the sale of their wares. The old match, a splinter of wood, with ends dipped in brimstone, is fast disappearing before the modern lucifer or congreve*. The poor creature here represented is appealing to a lady and gentleman, (whose shadows are seen in the picture,) on their way to the Bank of England.
* Congreve was the name given, in honor of Sir William Congreve, to friction matches coated with sulphur and tipped with a mixture of sulphide of antimony, chlorate of potash, and gum. Lucifer matches were a variant of the congreves.