A Walk through the Nave of the Crystal Palace 1854

The History of Sydenham from Cippenham to present day. Links to photos especially welcome!

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tulse hill terry
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THE ITALIAN COURT.
The Court before which we stand is founded on a portion of the finest palatial edifice in Rome,-- the Farnese Palace, commenced by the architect Antonio Sangallo, for Cardinal Farnese, and finished under the direction of Michelangelo.

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A curious fact in connexion with the original building is, that the stone which compose it were taken from the ancient Coliseum, within whose mighty walls the early Christians suffered martyrdom; so that, in truth, the same stones which bore witness to the faith and courage of the early devotees, served afterwards to build, for the faith triumphant a palace in which luxury, worldliness, and pride, found a genial home.
Compare and contrast!

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Italian Court, nave facade - Delamotte 1854 - British Library.

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Lithograph by Day & Sons.

In front to the left a female saint from the Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice, and to the right Bacchus by Jacapo Sansovino.
Prior to entering the Court, we may remark, in the niches, the bronze statues by Sansovino, from the Campanile Loggia at Venice, amongst which Apollo is conceived quite in the old Roman spirit.
-General Guide. 1854
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Apollo by Sansovino, just visible in the alcove to the left in the image above.
Passing beneath the columns in the centre of the court, we see the fountain of the Tartaughe, or “of the Tortoises” at Rome, designed by Gicomma dell Porta, with bronze statues by Taddee Landini.
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The fountain in the centre of the Court has been executed by Mr. Cundy out of alabaster presented to the Crystal Palace Company by T. Hills, Esq., of Burton-on-Trent. This beautiful material is the produce of his quarries at Fauld, in Staffordshire.
- Handbook to the Italian Court. 1854
Turning to the right [going anti clockwise], the first object that attracts our attention is a statue of the Virgin and Child [Medici Madonna], by Michelangelo, the original of which is at San Lorenzo, Florence.
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Advancing to the south side, we enter a loggia or arcade, the interior of which is richly ornamented with copies of Raffaelle‘s celebrated frescoes in the Loggia of the Vatican palace at Rome. They consist of a most fanciful, yet tasteful combination of landscape figures, architecture and foliage, founded on antique models, and bearing a close resemblance to the ornamental work discovered in various Roman ruins, especially at the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, which however, were at the time unknown.
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Delamotte. Source: English Heritage
In the centre of the arcade, towards the Court, is the monument of Guiliano de Medici, from San Lorenzo, Florence. On each side of his statue are the reclining Night and Light (part of the same monument). This is one of Michelangelo’s masterpieces, and is remarkably characteristic of the sculptor’s style.

At the back of it, in the Loggia, is a fine specimen of bronze casting, from Venice. [The Gates from the Loggia of the Campanile. St Marks. Venice]
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On each side of the entrance to the gallery are two groups of a Virgin with the dead Christ, that to the right being by Bernini [Montauti!], the other to the left by Michelangelo, both especially interesting as serving to indicate the state of art in the 16th and 17th centuries respectively.
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Pieta by Antonio Montauti ca 1734 from the Corsini Chapel in the laterano Rome

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On the left of this entrance is marked on the map, the "Dying Slave" by Michelangelo [Louvre], and to the right "Cristo della Minerva" or Christ the Redeemer, also by Michelangelo. Doesn't match the picture above does it, with the "Dying Slave" to the left of Montauti's Pieta, and Michelangelo's "Moses" is in the shadows of the gallery behind the Court, when he's marked on the map as in the Central Transept. Ho hum.
The visitor may now enter the loggia [on the north side], which, like its companion on the other [south] side of the Court, is ornamented with copies of Rafaelle’s frescoes from the Vatican.

In the centre of this side of the court is placed Michelangelo’s celebrated monument of Lorenzo de’ Medici, from the church of San Lorenzo at Florence; the reclining figures on each side of the statue of Lorenzo represent Dawn and Twilight.
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Delamotte ca 1854, reprinted in the 1911 auction Catalogue. Source: Science and Society site
At the back of this monument within the arcade is the fine bronze door by Sansovino from St. Mark’s, Venice, on which he is said to have laboured from twenty to thirty years. The projecting heads are supposed to be portraits; amongst them are those of Titian, Aretino, and of the sculptor himself.
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"The door of the Sacristy in the Basilica of San Marco was executed by Jacopo Sansovino. It has bronze panels depicting the Resurrection of Christ and the Deposition, surrounded by a frame decorated with figures of the Evangelists and Prophets and portraits (among them Titian, Veronese, Sansovino)." Web Gallery of Art

Proceeding onwards, the beautiful composition of Jonah and the whale, by Raffaelle, is from the Chigi Chapel at Rome.
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Stereoview of the Italian Court, by London Stereoscopic Company [I'll replace with a scan of one of my own when I get round to it] you can see I've had to reverse it. As well as Lorenzo de Medici, you can see one of the candelabrum by Annibale Fontana in the window, and just inside to the left, Jonah and the Whale by Raphael.
Passing into the gallery on the garden side, we remark in the four angles the pedestals of the Venetian standards, from the square of St. Mark, Venice [by Alessandro Leopardi].

The painted ceilings of this gallery deserve especial attention. The first on entering the gallery is from an existing example at the “Old Library,” Venice; the last is from the “Camera della Segnatura,” by Raffaelle, at the Vatican; beneath which is the fine statue of St. Jerome, by Torrigiano, from Seville, in Spain.
THE CRYSTAL PALACE CLUB.

Another Palace Institution, whose premises command a splendid view of the grounds, and the summer attractions, is the above Club. The magnificent rooms of the Italian Court have been converted to suit the purposes of the Club, and it is safe to say that in no more palatial suite of rooms is any London Club housed. A paddock is attached to the Club where in summer, the members may enjoy themselves in the open air while still having the advantage of privacy. A welcome feature is the admission of lady members, for whose accomadation special rooms are provided.
- General Guide. 1901
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Pieta by Michelangelo outside the Italian Court. Source: Artur Talbot ca. 1920's.

As can be seen, this involved glazing in the central entrance, and moving out ALL the casts from the Court, into the Nave. Access to the club was through the Elizabethan Vestibule.

THE ITALIAN VESTIBULE.

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The decoration of the vestibule is founded on the very elegant Casa Taverna at Milan, Bernardino Luini, a pupil of Leonardo da Vinci, and affords an excellent idea of the peculiar painted mural ornament prevailing in Italy at the commencement of the 16th century.


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Elevation of portion of the court yard of "Casa Taverna" at Milan painted by Bern. Luini.

SPECIMENS OF ORNAMENTAL ART SELECTED FROM THE BEST MODELS OF THE CLASSICAL EPOCHS Plate #75. Elevation of Portion of the Court Yard of Casa Taverna at Milan. (Painted by Berno Luini)
by GRUNER, LEWIS (LUDWIG).
Publisher Information:
Thomas M'Lean, London: 1850.

http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigi ... &snum=&e=w
The [interior?] doors are from the Palace of the Cancellaria [Palazzo della Cancelleria] at Rome, by Bramante, the famous designer of St. Peter’s in that city, and the immediate predecessor of the great architects of the 16th century.

The vestibule itself is very rich in very beautiful drawings after the old masters, by Mr. [Benjamin] West. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_West
The monuments on the external wall of the vestibule afford excellent examples of the later Renaissance style.

Amongst them may be particularly noted the monument of Lancino Curzio (nearest the gallery), from Milan, by Augustino Busti, evincing that delicate execution for which the sculptor was famous; . . .
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http://www.scultura-italiana.com/Biografie/Bambaia.htm
. . . and the central altar of La Madonna della Scarpa, from the Cathedral of St. Mark, Venice -- an elaborate specimen of bronze casting, completed early in the 16th century by Pietro Lombardo and others.

The monument on the side nearest the Nave is an excellent example of the Renaissance style.




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A triton from the 16th century Neptune Fountain in the gardens of the Palazzo del Principe, Genoa. Bombed in the second world war it was re erected in the 1950's.

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Italian Vestibule, looking west across the nave to the Egyptian Vestibule.

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Court of Christian Monuments, looking towards the south facade of the Italian Vestibule.

In the foreground cast #6. "Tomb of Abbess, Chichester Cathedral." To the left, the Hildesheim Column, beyond are two nymphs by Richard James Wyatt

On the wall is the Tomb of Lancino Curzio.

In the doorways are two works by Antonio Canova. To the left "Venus and Adonis" and to the right "The Three Graces"

We have now completed our survey of one of the most interesting features of the Crystal Palace. We have performed our promise to guide the visitor through the various Fine Art Courts, bringing before his notice some of the principal objects that have adorned his road, and endeavouring, by our brief remarks, to heighten the pleasure he must necessarily have experienced from the sight of so noble an assemblage of architectural and sculptural art.

Much however remains to be seen and accomplished - much that requires patient examination and study - examination that will yield fresh beauty, and study that will be rewarded by permanent and useful knowledge.

For guidance and help we refer the visitor to the handbooks of the several Courts.
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tulse hill terry
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Post by tulse hill terry »

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Plan of the Centre Transept, showing all the Courts of Sculpture, with the first floor shaded in by myself.

Only ever published in the first guide of 1854, and although numbered, no key was ever given.

COURT OF CHRISTIAN MONUMENTS - Gothic and Renaissance Sculpture Court

This was obviously intended to contain the casts, many of them architectural, that were from the relevant North Eastern Architectural Courts, but that were too big for the courts that we have just visited.

It was later rebuilt as a theatre.

Casts are from the :-

Byzantine Court.

1. Cross from Tuam marketplace.
2. First cross from Monasterboice.
3. Second Cross from Monasterboice.
4. Hildesheim Column.
5. Column from Doges Palace.

Mediaeval Courts.

6. Tomb of Abbess, Chichester Cathedral.
7. Tomb of Cantilupe, Bishop of Hereford, Hereford Cathedral.
8. Tomb of Edward III., Westminster Cathedral.
9. Tomb of Nicholas Huggate, Beverly Minster.
10. Statues from Chatres Cathedral.
11. Tomb of Bishop Bridport, Salisbury Cathedral.
12. Wakeman Cenotaph, Tewkesbury Abbey.
13. St. Andrew and St. Philip, Peterborough CAthedral.

Rennaissance Court.

14. Gattemelata by Donatello, Padua.
15. Tomb of Cardinal Zeno, St. Mark's, Venice.
16. Tomb of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, Westminster Abbey.

Italian Court.

17. Moses by Michelangelo.
18. Two votives, Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris.

15th century Sotheby Cross from Pocklington Church, Yorkshire. Dug up in 1835.



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Court of Christian Monuments by Delamotte 1859.

The dominating figure is of Bartolommeo Colleoni on horseback, by Verrochio and from Venice. He must have been moved from the Central Transept!
To the left is the Sotheby Cross from Pocklington. The mini-churchlike structure to the right, is #11 Tomb of Bishop Bridport, Salisbury Cathedral.

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Delamotte 1859.

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This time looking west towards the nave.

On the left #12 the Wakeman Cenotaph, minus the gruesome figure that lies under the arch.
Just to the right of Bartolommeo Colleoni, the rider with his back to us is #14. Gattemelata by Donatello.

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Looking north, just catching the end of the entrance to the Italian Vestibule. In the foreground is Canova's "Perseus" holding up the head of Medusa.

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Tomb of the Abbot Wakeman. - Delamotte 1854

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Looking South towards the Central Transept.

"The monument is that of Ilaria di Caretto, from Lucca Cathedral, executed by Jacopo della Quercia, of Sienna, early in the 15th century: it is a very fine example of the cinque-cento style."

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"Rehearsing for the Pantomime at the Crystal Palace."

Source: Illustrated London News December 26 1868.

This is the Court of Christian Monuments, now converted to the theatre. This view is looking south.
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tulse hill terry
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Post by tulse hill terry »

CENTRAL TRANSEPT - East/Park Side.

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Delamotte. 1854

Central transept, looking west towards the park. Colleone by Verrochio in his original position.

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You'll need your glasses for this, might post a transcript if I have the time!

I have a coin which reads,

VICTORY OF ALMA
"Struck at the Crystal palace Oct 28 1854.
In aid of the widows and orphans of our Brave soldiers sailors and Marines."

The Crimea War cast a shadow on the hopes that the Crystal Palace at Sydenham would continue the work of the Great Exhibition of 1851 in promoting prosperity for all classes, with international peace enabling trade. [They skipped those bits in the second edition of the guide book!]

This end of the Central Transept became the natural site for a Royal Box, sited as it was opposite the Grand Orchestra from 1857.

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1857. Royal family perched on a first floor corner.

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"The Royal Box at the Handel Commeration. Crystal Palace 1859
H.R.H. Prince Consort, The Princess Alice. The Princess Helena, Prince of Lsingen.

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Intermediate version.

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Queen Mary opens the 1911 Festival of Empire on May 1st, the traditional start of the London season, in what must be the final version of the Royal Box.
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tulse hill terry
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Post by tulse hill terry »

FRENCH AND ITALIAN SCULPTURE COURT / CONCERT HALL.

Opposite to the Court of Christian monuments, was the Court of French and Italian Sculpture, in a short space of time this became the Concert Hall, with it's own organ, so images of it while still showing sculpture are unusual.

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James Pradier's "Toilet of Atalanta" in the foreground.

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They seemed to have screened the garden side of the ground floor with red velvet, perhaps to prevent glare, which is why the background is so dark. Red seems to photograph darker in black and white, I was never any good at Physics!

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Pollet's "Night", looking out of the French and Italian Sculpture Court.

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The Concert Room that replaced all the nubile plaster lovelies.
[From a tiny photograph ca. 1900, J. Russell & Sons]

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tulse hill terry
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Post by tulse hill terry »

"INDUSTRIAL" COURTS OF THE SOUTH NAVE.

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FOREIGN INDUSTRIAL COURT.
At this point of the nave, next to the Foreign Court, and turning left "towards the garden, we reach the Photographic Department entrusted to Mr. Negretti , the photographer to the Crystal Palace Company, for the exhibition of the views of the Palace and grounds -illustrations, of a kind promising to displace the unsatisfactory prints which have of late years fromed the sole questionable ornament for the walls of the working classes.

-Guide to the Crystal Palace Park and Gardens. 1855.
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How I wish I could make a few purchases here.
This is at Sydenham. The Crystal Palace Company was formed to take it there, and it stands next to the Foreign Court.

Note the "Portrait Room" behind.

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This must be an early example, I haven't seen the special Crystal Palace backdrop elsewhere.

Wonder if a picture with Joseph Paxton was extra!

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Round the corner of the Foreign Court, into the nave and looking south,

Streaming out and down the nave, more of the French and Italian sculpture. Duret's "Improvasitore" most prominent.

I don't know why, but I find his expression incredibly creepy.

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See what I mean!
"This Court was originally entrusted to a French architect, who, late in the spring, on account of the short period allowed for its construction, declined its execution. At the eleventh hour, Sir Joseph Paxton took it in hand, and in the short space of one month the Court has risen from its foundations to its present state of completeness, the builder being Mr. George Myers. [Called Pugin's builder.]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Myers_(builder)

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The style chosen by Sir Joseph Paxton is late Gothic. It is built, like the Stationery Court, chiefly of wood, the construction not being concealed, but allowed to appear, and emblazoned with colour. The lower panels facing the nave are of silvered-plate glass, and above are panels ornamented with beautiful examples of illuminated art. The decorations of the interior consist of shields emblazoned with the arms of various nations, and legendary scrolls setting forth the names of the principal seats of manufacture."
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"Toilet of Atalanta" Outside the "Foreign Court" and NOT the Alhambra Court!

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Nice one of the tops of the panels.

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Antonio Rossetti's "Esmerelda" against the distinctive walls of the "Foreign Court." The original is in the collection of Drexell University, Philadelphia

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"The Mourners" by J. G. Lough. Outside the Foreign Court, French and Italian Sculpture Court behind. This must easily be the most mobile cast in the place, appearing in photgraphs taken all over the building!
"FANCY MANUFACTURES COURT. It will be found to contain a most varied and rich collection of all those essentials of use and ornament for which both the Continent and this country are famous, comprising articles of bijouterie, vertu, papier mache, and an endless variety of things for presents of mementos; all the articles being for sale on the spot."

Robert Holt, Proprietor.

- 1858 edition of the Guide.
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No doubt the source of all the objects with "A PRESENT FROM CRYSTAL PALACE" on them!

A gift shop, in other words. The distinction "all the articles being for sale on the spot" important in that the ground floor of the South Nave was initially for the display and not the sale of goods. No wonder this part of the Palace failed to raise the income expected.
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Falkor
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Post by Sydenham »

Falkor - don't be dispirited about replies - the prints are magnificent - I'm really enjoying this series of posts. Its a lot to take in - don't take the lack of responses to indicate lack of interest.
tulse hill terry
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Post by tulse hill terry »

MIXED FABRICS COURT.
This Court has been erected by Professor Gottfried Semper.
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gottfried_Semper
It is divided into two parts; one covered by a ceiling, for the reception of the more delicate fabrics likely to suffer by exposure to the sun’s rays, and which may be seen to better advantage in a subdued light; and the other uncovered, and appropriated to raw produce, and such textile manufactures as are not susceptible of injury from sunshine.

The style of decoration employed is cinque-cento, and the ornaments are, as in other cases, symbolical of the manufactures to which the Court is dedicated.

On the tympanum above the entrance to the covered portion is placed a head of Minerva, the traditional inventress of spinning and weaving. In the panels on either side of the head will be paintings of the olive tree, sacred to Minerva, and, in our idea, to Peace, the true protecting goddess of human industry.

On the roof of the covered portion will be placed a fountain, composed of Majolica ware, at the angles of which are symbolical of weaving and spinning. This fountain will, however, be better seen from the gallery above.

Entering through the opening in the semicircular uncovered portion, on either side of which are pedestals, to be surmounted by typical groups, we may first examine the decorations of the Court, and then the contents of the glass cases, which include hosiery, shawls, and other textile fabrics.

After this we enter the covered division. The lower portion of the Court is occupied with glass cases, and above are placed ornamental columns, supporting the ceiling; the latter is panelled in oak, and the insides of the panels are filled in with representations of the hemp and flax plants, from which the linen is manufactured; mulberry bushes, the leaves of which are the food of the silk-worm; and the symbolical Golden Fleece, all painted on blue and red grounds.

On the ceiling also are tablets inscribed with the names of the principal continental and English manufacturing towns. In this court are exhibited manufactured silks, India and China shawls, and other costly and delicate fabrics.
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Engraving 1854. Source Art Journal. Probably as designed, but still unfinished at the time of engraving.

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Ca. 1870, As built, note lack of ceiling, or the columns to the right.

By now this court was home to Negretti and Zambra.
This image comes from their catalogue, which goes for about £7000! And no I don't own a copy!

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The left-hand side.

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The right-hand side.

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And the middle!

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Shakespeare by Roubilliac, original in the British Museum ca. 1930. [Probably hiding from the Great Depression.]

Soon after the re opening of the Crystal Palace at Sydenham this court was used for a display of ceramics.
Ceramic Court.

Showing " a most valuable collection of Ceramic productions, illustrating the art of Pottery, from the earliest to the lastest time.

This art has always been esteemed as curious and instructive, as it an enduring record of a nation. From the earliest times, specimens have come down to us and they doubtless speak with a singular accuracy of the phase of civilisation in which they are fashioned, and of the manner which required them. Thus a survey of the Ceramic Court will, it is thought, bear with it more than the mere inspection of curious, beautiful, or splendid objects affords.

The specimens are mostly arranged in the glass cases round the walls. In these will be found some curious Mexican examples, early Greek and Estruscan, and early stone pottery, as well as articles in terracotta. Many very fine pieces of Lustrous and Italian-painted Majolica ware are arranged in the cases on the garden side of the Court. Of Sevres china there are several splendid pieces of the renowned jewelled ware, as well as modern productions. The Dresden, Berlin, Viennese, Chinese and Oriental manufactures are worthily illustrated, while amongst the productions of our own country may be pointed out the specimens of early Worcester and Chelsea ware, as well as the splendid works of the most modern manufacture.

1858 Guide to the Crystal Palace
30 years later and more change!
In the third of the series of Courts on this side – the second from the Great Transept – there is a central pathway into that department from the Nave, dividing this Court into two.

That on the right hand is devoted to scientific instruments and photography, and is in the occupation of Messrs. NEGRETTI AND ZAMBRA. The famous Photographic Portrait Rooms of the Crystal Palace are here, and it must be very dark weather indeed when portraits cannot be obtained next the glass roof in the pure atmosphere of the altitude on these hills. Many exquisite photographic views, including all those that have been taken of the Crystal Palace and its gardens, as well as those of all the objects of art, &c., in the collections, can be seen and obtained here. In regard to scientific instruments and apparatus of all kinds, optical and meteorological, for the most ordinary as well as the most recondite uses, the collection and the means at command are quite exceptional, and of infinite convenience to the residents in the neighbourhood.

The divisions on the left hand of the central pathway constitute the NEW BOOK COURT and the TOURIST'S COURT. The first named of these is, in fact, an extension in connection with the Library Reading Room, where all the books in current sale by all publishers are systematically advertised, and can in turn be examined; here every such book can be purchased. The stock kept is very interesting, and is altogether probably more extensive in regard to the number of works presented than is to be found anywhere else, especially in the retail trade. The purchaser has quite exceptional means for selection. Generally speaking, of the many books produced by the great publishers, only a few, chosen for reasons of supposed adaptability to the local trade, are ever to be met with together in the stock of one shop. To get an idea of what the publisher offers in current sale, one must go to the publisher’s own warehouse, or rely on his printed catalogue or advertisements. In this Court, however, the retail purchaser comes in contact with all the books, in current sale, of each publisher. The School and Educational books form a special department, whence most of the neighbouring establishments obtain the books they require; The Post Office, Money Order Office, &c., is in this Court.

The TOURIST'S COURT is in that division on the garden side.

Here will be found a most noteworthy MAP OF EUROPE, the largest ever made; it is 21 feet square, and was produced by Messrs. W. & A. K. Johnston, Geographers to the Queen, specially for this Court, and is all hand-work. It is designed to show the routes of European travel, so that a tourist or more serious traveller may be able to sit down and calculate how he can best get from one point to another, or even to select and determine where he shall go. Sectional maps with precise local information of all districts are available, as well as all guide books, and indeed every sort of information of the kind. Having made up his mind, he can obtain travelling tickets, passports, circular notes, &c., at the booking office at hand, be supplied with every information and all the means and appliances – even for his hotel expenses – for his journey to and sojourn anywhere. All the tickets of Messrs. [Thomas] Cooks’ famous system can be obtained in the office, just the same and at same prices as in their London offices; so whether the traveller desire to journey round the world, to Egypt or to Jerusalem, to the English Lakes, or to Brighton, he can, so to speak, start from the Tourists’ Court.

-1888 Edition of the Crystal Palace Guide
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Looking North to the Mixed Fabrics Court.
Delamotte 1859.
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Post by tulse hill terry »

PRINTED FABRICS COURT.
This court represents a branch of trade peculiarly belonging to England, and one indeed, in which, until of late, she has been almost without a competitor; viz., the manufacture and printing of cotton and woollen goods.
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Printed Fabrics Court - 'Manchester Court' (sic) Delamotte ca. 1859
"The architects, Messrs. Banks and Barry [Robert Richardson Banks (1812-72) and Charles Barry Junior (1823-1900)] have adorned the walls of this court with medallion portraits of the eminent men to whose genius we are indebted for improvements in this particular branch of manufacture; and the frieze, with bas-reliefs representing the introduction of the raw material into this country, and the several processes through which the same material passes, until it finally quits England again in its most highly finished and useful form. No particular style is followed in this court: the architects have suited their fancy by appropriating what they found picturesque in several styles; and the character of the Court may be called decorative Italian, combined with Elizabethan, and even Byzantine features.
Robert Richardson Banks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Richardson_Banks

Charles Barry Junior http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Barry,_Jr.
The engraving [shown below] shows attenuated Byzantine double columns and round arches, in Barry's typical eclectic or 'free' style, surmounted by a parapet with ceramic urn-like finials, like his father's work at Trentham and Cliveden.

-Jan Piggott "The Palace of the People" page 129
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Printed Fabrics Court. Engraving - 'The Builder.'

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http://www.artfund.org/assets/image/art ... 4437_1.jpg

Elevation drawing for Trentham Hall - demolished 1911.
Entering through the central opening, the most important object in the interior is an allegorical figure of Manchester placed in the centre: a distinction due to the city which is the heart of the cotton trade of the country."
Probably part of an unrealised plan to place an allegorical statue of the relevant city in the centre of each of the Industrial Courts, and perhaps why this is image by Delamotte was called the "Manchester Court"

Just a few years later . . . .
"BRITISH PORCELAIN MANUFACTURES COURT.

The contents of this Court differs in character to the next, in as much as the English Ceramic Art-manufactures of the highest class, and Porcelain from the best English potteries will be found, as well as glass. the Parian Marble statuettes, a branch of the Art-manufacture of comparitively recent introduction, and in which the English excel, form a very beautiful and interesting feature.
- 1858 Crystal Palace Guide .
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"Musidora" by James Legrew, by the entrance to the Printed Fabrics Court.

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By now "The Animal Court." Photochrom ca 1925-36.

Proabably the stuffed animals removed from the Natural History section for the Imperial War Museum, and Rauch's "Stags," The originals only recently returned from the former East Germany after 2000.

Taxidermy was very popular at the Palace, squirrels learning their sums etc. Damien Hirst has recently tried to purchase a victorian display of kittens getting married , I hear.
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Post by tulse hill terry »

THE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS COURT.


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Engraving 1854 - "The Builder"
This Court displays much invented fancy in its general design and execution, and may fairly challenge comparison with any architectural novelty in the Palace.

It is the production of Mr John Thomas [1813-62], who is well known as the sculptor of the statues at the new Houses of Parliament. The aim of the architect here has been, not so much to build a mere Court for the exhibition of musical instruments, as to produce a Temple dedicated to Music, and to render the architectural detail and ornament typical of the high and beautiful art as well as of the subservient mechanical craft.

The end [south side] of the Court before which we are now standing is symbolical of Sacred Music. Over the two doorways are alt-relievo figures of Miriam and David, and in the centre is a bust of Jabal. The three-quarter columns are of a composite design, art of the shaft being made to represent organ-pipes.

The front of the Court is divided into three compartments, and may be regarded as the deification of mythological and primitive music, a head of Apollo appearing in the centre, the frieze along the whole length of this side being ornamented with heads of pan, lyres, sea-shells, and other instruments of sound.

- General Guide , 1854
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In front are the statues of Musidora to the left and Diana to the right; the recumbent figures near them are allegorical of Night (to the left) and Morning.

- General Guide, 1854]
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Originals at Somerleyton Hall http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somerleyton_Hall

Source: http://www.artandarchitecture.org.uk/

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Entering through one of the central openings, we find the interior of the Court more highly decorated than the exterior. Over the entrances are figures of St Cecilia and Erato, under which are lines from Dryden and Collins. Round the other portions of the Court are ranged the busts of the most celebrated English and foreign composers, and on the frieze are figures of boys playing upon various instruments.

In fact the whole Court, externally and internally, is descriptive of the music of all ages and all countries; whilst the pleasant subdued colouring harmonises charmingly with the pervading spirit. Making his way round this court by the usual route, viz, from right to left, the visitor will notice the places appropriated to pianofortes, harps, drums, wind and stringed instruments. The windows of this court afford a favourable opportunity for exhibiting printed music.

-General Guide, 1854
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Later picture of Musical Instruments Court.
London Stereoscopic Company 1856.

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Musical Instruments Court from across the nave. - Excel Postcard ca 1925-36.
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Post by tulse hill terry »

SOUTH TRANSEPT East/Park Side.

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South Transept - West side during construction
Delamotte

NOTE. This end of the South Transept had the Gutenburg monument by Baron von Launitz in the centre, the work of English sculptors John Bell, and W. C. Marshall.

After display in the Central Transept, Marochetti's Richard Couer de Lion, first exhibited at the great exhibition, and now on display by the Houses of Parliament, and Clesinger's Francoise I were placed here.

At some point the Gutenburg monument disappearred, and by the end of the Palace's days this part of the building became home to many huge equestrian pieces.

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Marochetti's Richard Couer de Lion amongst the work of John Bell.

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From behind the Gutenburg Monument.

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Clesinger's Francois I.

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Francois I and Richard Couer de Lion preparing for the Festival of Empire 1911

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Ric and Frank ducking a Barrage balloon!
Imperial War Museum ca. 1920's

Behind them was the Grand Dining Saloon.

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Post by tulse hill terry »

In the south east corner of the building was the "Old World" section of the Natural History department.

This sought to display the many races of man, set within the relevant animals and plants.

THE OLD WORLD.
On entering this section of the department will be found two case of South African birds, -- for it is at South Africa we commence our investigation -- and immediately before us is seen a group of Zulu Kaffres. This tribe has become especially interesting to Englishmen on account of their long war with the Kaffre people, and of their acquaintance with a number of Zulus who visited this country in 1853. The Kaffre tribes are far above the rest of the South African races: they are in a measure civilized, some of them build houses and towns, and pay considerable attention to arts and manufactures. In general they are tall and well proportioned; their skin is of a brown colour; they have woolly hair, high foreheads, and prominent noses, and are of an excessively warlike and predatory disposition. On one side of this group are two Bosjesmen, and on the other two Earthmen, all of whom are generally styled Bushmen; they fix their abode on inappropriate tracts of land, which frequently separate hostile tribes.

On the right of the visitor, amidst the vegetation of South Africa, are placed a giraffe, a leucoryx, and a bontebok. The giraffe is a male born in London about ten years ago. Its long neck enables it to browse upon the young shoots of tall trees, and to curl around them its tongue, which it can extend a great way, and with which it draws its food into its mouth. As the two-humped camel is peculiarly an Asiatic animal, and the Llama a South American one, so is the giraffe peculiar to Africa, and perhaps the most characteristic animal of that rich zoological region.

In the space on the left of the visitor, which is also devoted to South Africa, are groups of a lion and cub, a brown hyena, and a battle between a leopard and a duyker-bok. Such a battle is not an uncommon occurrence in savage life. The leopard, making too sure of its prey, has fearlessly sprung upon it, and the little antelope has received the attack upon its knees with its head down. No sooner does it feel the claws of its enemy, than it at once partly raises itself, and at the same instant, by means of the great muscular strength which all the deer tribe possess in the head and neck, it buries one of its horns in the ribs of the leopard, whose countenance plainly indicates the deadly nature of the wound. The plants of this region are chiefly heaths. There are also some fine specimens of Polygala and Amphelexis, together with several plants whose aspects are as curious as their names.

Choosing the path to the right, as he faces the group of Kaffres, the visitor will presently arrive at the section which separates Eastern Africa, on the confines of which will be found a female hippopotamus. As this animal is found in both Southern and Eastern Africa, it here occupies an intermediate place between the two provinces. From the fine young male now in the Regent’s Park Zoological Gardens, the habits of this animal are too generally known to need comment here.
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We now come to a group of those Danakils who inhabit the country between Abyssinia and the sea, leading a camel to water. The Danakils are a nomad or wandering tribe; they are of a chocolate-coloured complexion, and have woolly hair, which they dress in a fantastic manner; they are of slender make, tall, and differ widely in appearance from the Negro. The Danakils are transitional between the Negro and the Arab, possess a Jewish physiognomy, and have acquired the Negro element from their intercourse with the neighbouring members of that race. Proceeding a short distance, we find, on the extreme left, a group of slaves, which, with the plants and animals, represent Western Africa. The Negro nations of Guinea are those that have supplied slaves for the Americas. These specimens are typical of the Negroes from the Delta of the Niger, and are chiefly Ibo, but the lighter varieties are the Fellatahs and Nufis, from the interior of the country, and they exhibit less of the Negro type. Near this group will be found three specimens of the chimpanzee, the animal whose form most nearly resembles that of man. It is found only on the Western Coast of Africa, though it may probably also exist in the far interior, where no European as yet has penetrated. Though similar to the ourang outang of Sumatra in general form, the chimpanzee is a smaller animal; it lives in woods, builds huts, uses clubs for attack as well as for defence, and in many ways exhibits an intelligence that presses with rather uncomfortable nearness upon the pride of the sole rational animal.

Beyond this, and upon the verge of Northern Africa, represented a battle between two leopards, forcibly reminding us of a quarrel between two cats, which, in fact it is. Any one who has seen one cat advancing towards another, must have observed that there is always a desire to receive the assault lying on the back, with the four legs upwards. The motive is to be in a position to have free use of the claws of all the legs; and in the group before us, though the smaller animal appears to have the advantage both by position and by the grip he has taken on the throat of the other, yet the laceration he is receiving underneath from the hind legs of the larger animal, will soon oblige him to release his hold. The vegetation of North Africa includes orange and lemon trees, the date palm, the oleander, the sweet bay tree, and the laurustinus.

On the right we have before us an illustration of Asia, in which the tiger hunt forms a most important feature. The danger of this sport is sufficiently known to all who have engaged in or heard of it. The tiger, seen extended on his back, has been wounded from the howdah, or car on the elephants back, and in his struggle has rolled over into that position. The other tiger seeks to revenge his companion by an attack upon the persons in the howdah, whilst the elephant is in the act of uttering a roar of fear, and starting off with the speed of terror from the scene of action. Under such circumstances, the keeper, seated on the neck of the animal, has no control over him, and the riders are in imminent peril of being jolted out of their seats, and of falling into the clutches of the tiger.

Near this episode of hunting-life in India will be found a group of Hindoos, in which will be readily distinguished two distinct kinds of physiognomy, one coarse-featured and dark-skinned --the low caste -- and the other with fine features, and lighter-skinned -- the high caste. The Hindoos belong to the Indo-European nations, and are spread over British India; some of them are exceedingly handsome, possessing small foreheads and black lively eye; they are physically weak, and incapable of hard, manual labour. Some are very skilful artisans, and employ their time in painting on ivory, in wood-carving, and in manufacturing the beautiful Indian shawls and fine cloths so much esteemed by Europeans. The most conspicuous shrubs here are the Indian Rhododendrons, contrasting with the American Rhododendrons in the new World. Here are also the Indian-rubber tree, the Assam tea plant, and the drooping Juniperus recurva. Opposite the group of Hindoos the visitor will see a lion and lioness with a cub under the shade of some orange trees, as further illustrations of North Africa. Near them is a specimen of the Barbary Ape, the only monkey found in Europe. He is seen in the wild state inhabiting the caverns of impregnable Gibraltar.

Further on, and on the left of the visitor, will be seen a group representing the population of Chinese Tartary, and several specimens of Asiatic animals, including the large-horned sheep called Ovis Ammon, which is exceedingly rare; the Yaks, or grunting oxen, which are used by the Tartars for riding or driving, as well as for food of clothing; the tail being very much in request in India for brushing away flies, no less than as an emblem of authority; and the Ounce, an animal which three hundred years ago was comparatively well known, but whose skin has since become so rare that the very existence of the animal has been questioned.

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The Yak - Delamotte 1854

European travellers have lately visited its haunts in Central Asia, and satisfactorily proved that it still lives. The most conspicuous plants are the camellias and the Indian arbor vitae, which is the Asiatic representative of the similar plant in the new world. Amongst this botanical group will be found also specimens of the black and green tea plants.

Let the visitor now pass under the staircases leading to the galleries, and, bearing somewhat to the right, he will come to a small plot of ground dedicated to the illustration of Australia and New Guinea. Selecting the left-hand path, he will first notice a case of marine objects, consisting of the mollusques, corals, &c, of Australia, and advancing a few paces, will find, on his left, a small piece of ground devoted to New Guinea. The ethnological group are the Papuans of new Guinea, easily distinguishable by their curious, frizzled hair, which makes their heads resemble mops; they are neither Malays, nor Negroes, but a mixed race between the two, retaining the characteristics of the tribes from which they sprung: hence they may be called Malay-Negroes.

Turning to the right from this group, a few steps conduct us to a case filled with Australian birds, and then proceeding towards the entrance to this portion of our geographical illustrations, we have on our right a general illustration of Australia; and on the left another marine case. Amongst the animals will be noticed the most characteristic form the kangaroo. The Australian men here depicted strike us at once by their half-starved, lanky, and ill proportioned bodies; they maybe looked upon as savages, hunters, and inhabitants of forests; they possess that excessive projection of the jaw which ethnologists make one of the distinguishing traits in the most degraded forms of man.

Here the visitor will find numerous plants with which he is acquainted in conservatories; the banksias, the Acacias, and the different kinds of Epacris and Eriostemon, are amongst the most conspicuous. He will see also specimens of three other kinds of Araucaria, the most elegant of which is the Norfolk Island Pine.

Quitting this part, and proceeding up the building in a northerly direction, after crossing the transept we find, close to the open, corridor looking out on the gardens, a plot of ground devoted to the illustration of the Indian isles. The principle group of men represents a party of the natives of Borneo in their war dresses, and to the left is a group of Sumatrans with three opium eaters from Java; there will likewise be noticed a black leopard and two Malay bears.

The plants of the Indian islands, with the exception of those beautiful Orchids (for the growth of which our building is not sufficiently warm or humid), are not to be procured in England. The vegetation of these regions is, accordingly, unrepresentative. Our illustrations here are conventional and picturesque.

With this group we complete our rapid survey of the Natural History department of the Crystal Palace. It remains to mention that the Ethnological section has been formed under the direction of Dr Latham; the Zoological Collection has been formed by Mr. G. R. Waterhouse; that Mr. Gould has formed the Ornithological Collection, and that Sir Joseph Paxton has selected the plants to illustrate the Botany. The whole of the Natural History arrangements have been effected under the general direction of Professor Edward Forbes, and the personal superintendence of Mr. Wm. Thomson.
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Photochrom Ca. 1920

The South Transept in the 1920's with part of the Imperial War Museum display, looking east towards the park where the "Old World" display would have been.
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Falkor
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Post by Falkor »

Good stuff, Terry! :o I didn't even know there was an Irish Vestibule, and certainly never seen any pics of it before. :oops: You won't find better coverage of the Byzantine Court anywhere in the world other than this thread. :) If students wanted to do a 3D animation of the Crystal Palace Interior, they would first have to visit here. It should also be clear by now that stereoviews are the only real way of seeing the palace in any depth. Again, great contribution by Terry. This is what you call high level posting... looking forward to the Medieval; I know this court had a complex interior with plenty of vestibules etc.
P.S. I've got some Irish blood inside me! 8)
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Post by tulse hill terry »

THE SCREEN OF KINGS AND QUEENS OF ENGLAND.

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Photochrom ca. 1925.
This screen designed by M. Digby Wyatt, used the original plaster models of the Kings and Queens of England [and Cromwell!], created by the sculptor John Thomas for the Houses of Parliament - [still in the process of being rebuilt in 1854.]
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The series of monarchs is placed in chronological order, commencing, on the return side to the left (as we face the screen), with the kings of the Saxon heptarchy; and beneath them the Saxon kings, the first on the left being Egbert, by whom the greater number of the petty kingdoms were first consolidated. The Norman series commences, on the principal front, with William 1, and his queen, above whom are the statues of St George and St Andrew. Amongst the various rulers of the state may be noticed as of great excellence, in that style of sculpture which has been termed “the romantic,” Henry II, Berengaria, Henry V, Henry VI, Richard III, Edward VI, Charles the First and his queen Henrietta, and Cromwell; this last was rejected by the Committee of the Houses of Parliament, but is clearly necessary for completing the historical series which is concluded on the return side, to the right, with the royal personages of the reigning Guelph family, and a lower row of Saxon kings.
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Post by tulse hill terry »

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THE NEW WORLD.

The first section we come to is devoted to the illustration of the Arctic regions: to the left on entering are placed two polar bears; the skin of the largest having been brought home by Captain Inglefield on his last memorable return from the Arctic regions. The smaller bear died in England some time ago.

To the right will be found a group of Esquimaux, a race of people inhabiting the ice-bound shores of the Arctic regions, and who from the nature of their language, and the position of their country, are comparatively isolated from the rest of mankind. They pass their short summers in hunting foxes and fishing, and during the winter, form dwelling places in the frozen snow; their principle means of subsistence being, during that season, dried fish, and whale oil. They are short of stature, possess broad faces, resembling in some respects the Chinese, straight long hair, and well proportioned limbs, and are generally plump and even fat. Since the introduction of Christianity amongst the Esquimaux, they have advanced in civilization.

Continuing along the path, we pass a glass case containing a selection of North American birds, and beyond this we arrive at a group of North American Red Indians engaged in a war dance, and surrounded by the trees and shrubs indigenous to North America. The most conspicuous amongst these are the American Rhododendrons, the kalmias, the Andromedas, and the American arbor vitae. The Indians of the valley of the Mississippi, and of the drainage of the Great lakes supply us with our current ideas of the so-called Red Man, or the Indian of the new World. In stature they are above the middle height, and exhibit great muscular force, their powers of endurance, being very great; in temper they are harsh, stoical, and unsociable, whilst in warfare they are savage and cruel. The general physiognomy of the Red Indians is the same from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic. Between the Alleghanies and the Atlantic, the first-known country of these tribes, the variety is now nearly extinct.

Quitting this group and continuing our way, the visitor finds before him a glass tank containing some of the North American fluviatile (river) animals, such as the bull frog and snapping turtle, and on his right a case of West Indian marine objects, exhibited in order to afford an ides of the nature of the sea bottom in that region. In this case are mollusques, corals, sponges, &c. This rare collection of objects is the property of J.S. Bowerbank, Esq., by whom they have been kindly lent to the Crystal Place, and arranged.

Returning a short distance, and taking the left-hand path, we find on our right the trees and animals of central America; amongst the latter a fine male puma grey with age. Before reaching this, the visitor will note a large specimen of Agave Americana, one of the most striking plants of Central America. The Puma may be regarded as the American representative of the lion of the old world, the distribution of both these animals throughout their respective hemispheres having originally been very general. Like most of the cat tribe the puma is a good climber, and usually chooses trees, rocks, and other elevated positions from which it can dart upon its prey.

On the left of the visitor are two groups, representative of the North Brazils. The greatest group on the left-hand is characteristic of Guiana, and beyond is the Amazonian group. These two are intended to serve as types of the South American varieties of Indians. And if we institute a comparison between the various races of North and South America, it will be found that the latter possess more delicate features, rounder forms, and are of smaller stature. Their habits and pursuits also differ. The red Indian of North America gives himself up entirely to hunting, whist the South American devotes his life to fishing, guiding his light canoe down the rapid rolling rivers of his country, in search of the means of subsistence.

Continuing our path, we arrive at a case of South American birds, and, beyond this, a zoological group. On the ground, to the left, is a jaguar, which has just killed a brocket deer, and is about to eat it, when his repast is disturbed by a growl from a black jaguar, who is coming down the rocks, on the right, to contest the prey with his spotted brother. As the leopard is found only in the old world, so is the jaguar met with in the New World only, and each may be regarded as a representative of the other, on opposite sides of the Atlantic ocean; the jaguar having greatly the advantage in size and muscular strength. Near these is placed an adult and a young specimen of the Llama, or guanaco, as it is called by the Peruvians, who employ this animal as a beast of burden, notwithstanding is small size and apparent inability to sustain heavy loads. Like the dromedary, it is capable of enduring great fatigue, and can climb over almost impassable roads. Indeed, until the introduction of mules and horses by the Spaniards, these little creatures brought to the sea-side all the gold and silver from the world-famous mines of the Andes.

Leaving this episode of wild animal life, the visitor advances on his path, and, after passing a case of birds, arrives at another group of animals, illustrative of South America. Amongst these will be seen a specimen of the tapir, of which there are but three kinds, this (the American) being not only the largest of the three, but also the largest native animal of South America. It is of a harmless and timid nature, living on vegetable food, and shunning the haunts of man. It appears intermediate in form between the hog and the elephant, and may be regarded as the new World representative of the latter, amongst thick-skinned animals.

Next to this a puma, about to spring on a brocket deer, whose shoulders it would seize, and whom it would destroy by pulling back the head with its paws, until it would break the little creature’s neck. The ethnological group, on the right, is a representation of a party of Botocudos, two of whom are engaged in a fierce fight with sticks. These inhabitants of South America are regarded as the fiercest of American savages; they are yellow in colour, their hair is long and lank, their eyes are small, their cheek bones prominent, the expression of their countenance is excessively savage, and they give them selves a still wilder appearance by the introduction of blocks of hard wood in the under-lip, and in the ears. Missionary efforts, it is consolatory to think, have done something towards civilizing these savages, who have been induced to become industrious and to turn their attention to the cultivation of the soil. Owing to the tropical character of the regions to which the foregoing groups of South American men and animals belong, the botanical specimens are not large. Nevertheless, the species introduced are strictly correct. They consist, principally, of Brugmansias, Fuchias, Calceolarias, and those two splendid members of the fir tribe, Araucaria imbricata and Braziliana.[/size]
Such are the first specimens presented in the Crystal Palace, of the zoological and other curiosities of the New World. Others in due time will follow; but the present examples will be sufficient to show the object attempted, in the way of scientific instruction, and to impress the mind of the visitor with the importance of the study of natural history, by the means of grouped illustrations.


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Ridiculously small image I know.

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Plan of the Natural History displays, New World left, Old World right.

The two boxes on the far right were displays in the south transept, soon removed for the Grand Dining Saloon. [Might photocopy it and re-scan, someone poured Araldite down the spine of my copy!]
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Falkor
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Post by Falkor »

We got lucky! That seller has put up some good scans... Check the Greek and Roman Sculpture Gallery From the Nave... superb!
tulse hill terry
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Post by tulse hill terry »

OSLER'S CRYSTAL FOUNTAIN.



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Osler’s Crystal Fountain, which occupied so conspicuous a place in the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park.

On the water which surrounds it, float the gigantic leaves of the Victoria Regia, the Nymphaea Nelumbia, and other tropical plants
-General Guide

F & C Osler Ltd, 164-165 Broad Street, Birmingham. Begun by Thomas Osler, the company was run at this time by his sons A Follet Osler and Thomas Clarkson Osler.

Abraham Follett Osler ( 1808 —1903] He developed a method of building up solid glass around a metal core creating objects of a size and complexity previously thought impossible. He also popularised Greenwich Mean Time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._Follett_Osler

Finally closing in 1976 their archives and moulds were acquired by Wilkinson P.L.C which had premises at Forest Hill at one time.

http://www.wilkinson-plc.com/history/

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Re-creation of the fountain for Infomart, Texas, U.S.A.

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Saturday Afternoon at the Crystal Palace."

"It is Saturday afternoon, and as business slackens around St. Pauls, it grows apace beneath the glass ridges of Sydenham; but this is the business of pleasure. To lounge away the time in the perfection of idleness; listening to the band, eating lobster slads, and drinking iced drinks.

The parrot shows and poultry shows, the operatic concerts and the symphonic concerts, each in their season, the monster festivals, and the gardens, are all gay parts of one gay whole of which we may well be proud

-The Graphic, April 23, 1870.
We will now proceed to the west end of the south, or Norwood transept, in which is placed a cast of the well known equestrian statue of Charles I, from the original at Charing Cross. It was designed and executed in 1633, by Hubert Le Suer, a French sculptor. The pedestal is a work of the celebrated sculptor Grinling Gibbons.

Beyond the statue of Charles I, in the central line, is placed that of James II, by Grinling Gibbons. A selection from the best productions of various English sculptors surrounds this portion of the transept.

-General Guide to the Crystal Palace 1854
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Falkor
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Post by Falkor »

As I haven't seen it since Jan 06, when this example from a much earlier edition was sold. Proof that these images WERE reissued. This view is unusual, showing the Choragic monument, displaced from the Central Transept by the building of the Great Orchestra in 1859, and a staircase from the first to second floor. The statues do seemed to have been tidied into rows. [Yes I know how sad this makes me sound.]
No, no, your observations are spot on! That is one of the best interior views I've ever seen...
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Post by tulse hill terry »

THE POMPEIIAN COURT.

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Seventeen hundred and seventy-five years ago, the cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii, beautifully situated on the shores of the bay of Naples, were buried beneath the cinders and ashes vomited forth by Vesuvius. The horrors of this calamity are recorded in the writings of Pliny, and of other Roman historians of the period. So sudden was the outbreak and general convulsion that, as we learn, many of the inhabitants of those cities were caught in their terrible doom before the thought of escape occurred to them. The dread event completed, nature resumed her former aspect. The mountain flames ceased, the intense blue sky again looked down upon the dancing waters, And there was nothing to tell of the general havoc, but a vast desolate tract covered with white ashes, under which man and his works lay entombed.

For Upwards of sixteen hundred years the cities continued undisturbed beneath their crust. But about the middle of the last century, curiosity with respect to them was stirred, inquiry commenced, and excavations were attempted. As in the more recent case of Nineveh, but with more satisfactory results, success at once crowned investigation. The material that had destroyed Herculaneum and Pompeii had also preserved them. That which had robbed them of life had also perpetuated their story in death. The cities were redelivered to man so far undecayed, that he obtained actual visible knowledge of the manner of life of one of the most remarkable people that ever governed the world. To the insight thus obtained , the visitor is indebted for the reproduction of the time, complete in every respect, from the outer walls to the most insignificant object in domestic use.
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The doorway of this house stands fronting the nave. Entering it, we pass through the narrow prothyrum or passage, on either side of which is a room devoted to the door-keeper and slaves, and on its pavement the words “Cave canem,” -- beware of the dog -- meet the eye. It is the usual notice engraved on the threshold of these Roman houses.

Emerging from the passage, we are at once in the “atrium,” or outer hall of the edifice. The eye is not attracted here, as in other restorations of the palace, by the architectural design alone; the attention is also secured and charmed by the decorations. The bright coloured walls, the light, fanciful character of the ornaments, the variety of patterns, and the excellent method of colouring, which at the lower part is dark, and graduates upwards, until it becomes white on the ceiling -- constitute some of the beautiful features that give individuality to Pompeiian houses, and cause them to differ most essentially from every other style.
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This entire hall, or “atrium,” was the part of the building common to all visitors. The opening above is the “compluvium,” and the marble basin beneath, the “impluvium,” which received the rain that fell from the roof. In the actual hoses at Pompeii, the size of the “impluvium” corresponds, of course, with the dimensions of the opening above. Here the “compluvium,” has been widened in order to admit more light into the court. The flooring consists of tessellated pavement, and near the two other doorways leading into the “atrium,” is inscribed the well known word “Salve” --“welcome” -- announcing the profuse hospitality of the owner. Two out of three of the entrances mentioned are formed here for convenience of egress and ingress, and are not copied from actual buildings, in which only one door exists.

As soon as we have entered the court, we turn right, and proceed around it, stepping into the “cubicula,” or bed chambers, to admire the figures that seem to be suspended in the intensely fine atmosphere, and -- with our English experiences -- to wonder how, whether by day or night, comfort could be attained in such close dormitories. We reach the side entrance, next to which is an open recess corresponding with a second recess on the other side of the “atrium.” These recesses were called “aloe,” or wings, and were used for the transaction of business with visitors. On the central panel of the first recess is painted a scene from the story of “Perseus and Andromeda,” and on the side panel are again exquisite figures, painted not in the centre of the panel, producing a stiff formality, but nearer the top than to the bottom, so that the forms still seem to float before us. Continuing on our way, we turn into the large apartment opposite the door at which we entered. This is the “tablinum,” and was used for the reception of the family archives, pictures, and objects of art. It probably served the purposes also of the modern “drawing-room.” Across the “tablinum” a curtain was no doubt drawn, to separate the private dwelling-house from the more public “atrium,” although it is a remarkable fact that no remains of hooks or rings, or of anything else, has been discovered to convey an idea of the means by which such a curtain could be attached. In order to enter within the “tablinum” a special invitation was required.

From this point, the “Peristyle” is also visible, with its columns coloured red some way up, a flower gardenin the centre, and a back wall, upon which are some curious specimens of perspective decoration, in which the Romans seem to have delighted. This court was always open to the sky in the middle. Passing through the “tablinum” and turning to the right, we shall come to a small doorway which admits us to the “triclinium,” or ding room. In feeding, the Roman was accustomed to lie on his breastand to stretch out his hand towards the table in order to serve himself. When dinner was over, he turned on his left side, and leant on his elbow. Re-entering the Peristyle, we proceed on our way, still to the right, and pass a drinking-room, on the walls of which fruits are painted, some hanging in golden clusters on a wreath of foliage, supported by Cupids. Next to this is the “porta postica,” or back door, and adjoining it a small recess, which served as kitchen. Crossing the “Peristyle,” near one end of which is the domestic altar, we turn to the left, and, after passing a small chamber, reach the bath-room -- that chamber so essential to the luxurious Roman. Close to this is the summer dining-room, and beyond this again, and corresponding with the “triclinium,” is the bed-chamber of the mistress of the house. Quitting this, we once more gain the “atrium,” by means of a narrow fauces, or passages, and return to the nave, through the door of the house at which we originally entered. The visitor has seen the extremes of decorative art, when after sating his eyes on the profuse and dazzling embellishment of the Alhambra, he has also dwelt upon the delicate colours gracing the walls of Pompeii.
Project to recreate the Pompeian Court in "Second Life" http://sydenhamcrystalpalace.wordpress.com/

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Last edited by tulse hill terry on 8 Apr 2018 04:36, edited 6 times in total.
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