This postcard view of the County Arcade in Leeds shows something of what was on sale in the first decade of the arcade’s existence (1900-1910) - there was a Jeweller, Hairdresser, Optician, Confectioner and seller of umbrellas. The opulent architecture is identical to what we see today. On my annual visit to Leeds I always pay my respects to the splendour of the County Arcade. Although the gleaming mahogany shopfronts stock little of interest to me, the sheer visual exuberance of Frank Matcham’s theatrical fantasy always captivates. The repetition of ornamental cast iron ribs decorated with brilliantly coloured Burmantofts faience, Sienna marble pilasters, balustraded balconies, stone ball finials, and wonderful gilded mosaic panels combine to delight the eye. The Victoria Quarter in Leeds has been valued and cherished as a priceless civic asset offering a sense of continuity with the Victorian heyday of a proud industrial city. Click here to read a previous post from 2008 on this subject.