The Arnolfini Portrait Jan van Eyck 1434 © National Gallery
Seville oranges were mentioned by Shakespeare: "civil as an orange" in Much Ado about Nothing, and in Coriolanus a competing "orange-wife and fossetseller "; and the wealthy landowners began to incorporate special orangeries in their gardens. The first oranges grown in England were said to be from seeds brought back by Sir Walter Raleigh, where his relative Sir Francis Carew planted the Orangery at Beddington, Surrey, in the 1580s.
Oranges F. Guarnieri mid 20th century (artuk.org)
The traditional verse "Oranges and Lemons, Say the bells of St Clement's" is claimed by St Clement Danes, but also by the smaller St Clement Eastcheap, for its proximity to the Thames wharves where the citrus fruits were unloaded. The origins of this musical game is obscure, but this rhyme is printed in a 1665 edition of The English Dancing Master by John Playford
After the Restoration of Charles II, Nell Gwyn was not the only famous orange-seller. In November 1667 Pepys records at the Theatre Royal, when the gentleman in front choked on his fruit, Orange Mall (one Mary Maggs) saved him by putting her fingers down his throat. The other great diarist, John Evelyn records many visits to orangeries at great estates, and he even grew his own, serving them when he entertained the artist Verrio in late September 1679.
Apples and Oranges Paul Cezanne c. 1900 © Musee d'Orsay
Now we have oranges all the year round, and the old-fashioned tissue paper wrappers are collectors' items.
Spanish orange tissue wrapper
Oranges and Lemons, 1928 Thos. Saunders Nash © the artist's estate Manchester Art Gallery