Item #5831 Ferguson’s Extraordinary Exhibition of Nature and Art and Grand Promenade…. James Ferguson.

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Ferguson’s Extraordinary Exhibition of Nature and Art and Grand Promenade…

[Strand, London]: Elliot, printer, White-lion court, 18, Wych-street, [1836]. Broadside, 17” x 6.5”.

A rare broadside for James Ferguson’s British collection of exotic “curiosities of nature” and wax exhibition.

Proprietor Mr. James Ferguson here announces he has just engaged the following "celebrated curiosities of nature": Senor & Senora Santiago de Los Santos, the former from Philippina Island, near China; The Smallest Man in the World, being only 25 inches high, although 49 years of age, and His Lady, a native of Birmingham, 30 years of age, and 38 inches high, the Smallest Woman in the World. The latter two are “the celebrated couple who visited Guildhall, on Thursday, June 2nd, 1836, where they were pronounced by Alderman Winchester to be the most extraordinary personages who ever visited the city of London, and were spoken of by the Metropolitan Press of the following day, with the highest encomiums.”

The exhibition also featured the Hottentot Lady from the Cape of Good Hope, Miss Kaitus Vessula—"the second female of this peculiar tribe that was ever introduced into this country"; Fieschi and the Infernal Machine—"as he appeared in the act of firing, which produced the dreadful tragedy of July 28th, 1835, with an accurate representation as he lay in his cell, suffering under the effects of his wound"; and an Egyptian Mummy—“that splendid monument of Ancient Grandeur"—who is 3,200 years old, and “entirely divested of its Cerecoth, of which, together with the preceding novelties, an explicit description is given by the Demonstrators of this popular and instructive place of resort.”

What's more, in the spacious saloons one would find the following amongst various other splendid works of art: a new Group of wax figures gorgeously attired, on a two-floor saloon that represent the Roman Invasion, and Caractacus, the British King. The text lists a multitude of figures in Ferguson’s collection. Also included in the saloons were "stupendous serpents from Bombay and Africa." The saloons are described as well aired, and brightly lighted. Enlivening the scene, the Grand Euterpeon from Germany performs "a variety of popular and entertaining airs, for the gratification of the visitors." Included is a personal word from Ferguson encouraging continued patronage from those who visit his exhibition. In return, he promises “to gratify every taste, he will neglect no opportunity of presenting novelties of an instructive and interesting character.” Open from 10 AM to 10 PM, admission was one penny; Ferguson’s was located at 167 High Holborn, three doors from Museum St.

OCLC records an electronic version only.

CONDITION: Light wear and tiny losses at upper corners, quite clean.

Item #5831


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