Gimme some sugar, baby

Joseph Towne wax model, created for 1851 Great Exhibition

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2 Responses:

  1. Eli the Bearded says:

    My copy of Practical Taxidermy by Montagu Browne (undated, but circa 1900) has this to say about the Great Exhibition of '51:

    Looking back to '51, let us see what one of these foreigners (mentioned at page 15) could teach us. Among over fifty groups of animals shown in the Great Exhibition were--

    A stag caught by five hounds (price £180).
    A wild boar set on by three hounds.
    A couple of old and young foxes in front of their "earth" (£60).
    Trophy of 25 heads of animals of the chase.
    Nest of a horned owl. Two old birds and five young defending themselves against two polecats (£30).
    Goshawk attacking an eagle owl.

    These were followed by comic groups, six of which illustrated Goethe's fable of "Reinecke the Fox," and were skilfully managed as well as amusing. Some others were--

    A duel between two dormice, with moles as gravediggers.
    "A Declaration of Love." Two weasels.
    "A Nursery Maid." One old and four young weasels.
    "Shaving a Luxury." One frog shaving another.

    Apropos of the above, frogs lend themselves better to comic scenes than almost any other animal, from their ridiculous likeness, when erect on their hind legs, to mighty man. Here advantage is often taken of this; and amongst mirth-provoking caricatures I have seen "A Steeplechase," frogs mounted on puppies as horses, some tumbling at the water-jump, others riding to win, some unhorsed, scrambling after their steeds, and so on; "The Battle of the Nile," frogs on rafts of leaves of water plats, attacking one another with small bulrushes; duel scenes; "Courtship" and "Matrimony"; "Fortiter in Re," a young frog soundly smacked (in the most approved fashion) by the irate paternal frog; the companion pictured "Suaviter in Modo," a young frog soothed by maternal affection.

    Monkeys are the next best for comic scenes, but are more awkward to handle, and not half so funny, unless very carefully modelled to caricature the manners and customs of the human subject. [...]

    No pictures from the show, but a photo of the source text the book. I'd really like to see some of the described exhibits.

  2. 600 series were easy to spot. Their locomotion was primarily by means of twerking.

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