The Displays

An illustration of "The Greek Slave"

The illustrated exhibitor, a tribute to the world's industrial jubilee; comprising sketches, by pen and pencil, of the principal objects in the Great Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations, 1851. London, John Cassell.


Published weekly from June to December, 1851. Here is shown a "General view of the American Department." The focus of the illustration is Hiram Powers' famous sculpture, "The Greek Slave," first produced in marble in 1843. The original was sold to a Captain Grant in England, reputedly for as much as 7,000. When exhibited publicly it elicited great praise, and inspired a sonnet by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.


Dionysius Lardner, 1793-1859: The Great Exhibition, and London in 1851. Reviewed by Dr. Lardner, &c. London, Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1852.


The author offers an encyclopedic overview of the Exhibition (appropriate to the originator and editor of the Cabinet Cyclopaedia, in 132 volumes, 1830-44). He appends contributions from other writers, including 31 pages of Letters of M. Hector Berlioz, who begins, "I said 'Hug!' like a Mohican, the first time I entered the edifice. I uttered an English exclamation that I need not repeat, on entering a second time; and I so far forgot myself as to suffer a French 'sacrebleu!' to escape me on my third visit . . .", but since he spends the rest of his letter on a report on the English musical scene, quite what the meaning of his exclamations may have been is unclear.

Recollections of the Great Exhibition. 1851. London, Lloyd Brothers & Co., September 1st 1851. KSRL: 19/20 G30; Gift of Mary A. Grant

Hand-coloured lithographs from a suite of 25 printed by Day and Son, lithographers to the Queen.

Lithograph title page from THE GREAT EXHIBITION, 1851
Plate 1: Title page. Showing a dome made at Coalbrookdale by one of the most famous ironfounders; John Bell's Shakespeare statue; and a collection of visitors from all over the world.
The Indial Court and jewels
Plate 3: "The Indian Court and jewels," by H.C. Pidgeon. This shows off the blue and gold columns and the red structural and trellis girders of Owen Jones' colour scheme. Clearly, Pidgeon saw this part of the exhibition with its jewels and its exotic fabrics and clothing as primarily of feminine interest.
View in the West Nave
Plate 6: "View in the West Nave," by H.C. Pidgeon. An enormous Celtic cross, a piano, hanging carpets, and a Rood arch (presumably in the ecclesiastical furniture section).
Furniture Court No. 1
Plate 10: "Furniture Court No.1," by Wilson. Ecclesiastical and civil furniture. To the right may be seen the "Passage to Machinery."
Birmingham Court
Plate 12: "Part of the Birmingham Court," by H.C. Pidgeon.
China Court
Plate 15: "Part of the China Court," by Jno. Absolon. Chinese ceramics, screens, and lanterns.
Turkish Court
Plate 20: "Part of the Turkish Court," by W. Goodall. Hookahs, weapons, and a camel saddle.
Children's prize gift book

The World's Fair; or children's prize gift book of the Great Exhibition of 1851. describing the Beautiful Inventions and Manufactures exhibited therein, with Pretty Stories about the People who have made and sent them; and how they live when at Home. London, Thomas Dean and Son; Ackermann and Co. [1851]

KSRL: Ch 5528

A charming little book, ostensibly about the Great Exhibition, but in fact largely a very simple geography of the world. The frontispiece and decorative title-page are hand-coloured.

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Kenneth Spencer Research LibraryKU LibrariesUniversity of KansasKSRL Exhibits