The History of Sydenham from Cippenham to present day. Links to photos especially welcome!
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9 Dec 2007 10:31


Delamotte 1859

"The architect of this court is Mr. George. H. Stokes [Paxton's son-in-law], whose structure at once compels attention by the novelty of its design, and by its general striking effect. Although there is a considerable admixture of styles in the court, the parts have been so well selected and their blending is so excellently contrived, that they yield a harmonious result in every way pleasing to the eye. The materials used in the construction are plate-glass and iron, an appropriate and happy selection for a court intended to receive the productions of Sheffield. The panels on the outer walls are of plate-glass, inclosed within gilt-moulding ; the pilasters and the frieze over the large panels are likewise of plate-glass. The iron columns above, forming an arcade, are in a composite Moresque-Gothic style, and elaborately ornamental in design."

Art Journal 1854

"Entering the court from the nave, we find the interior decorations identical with those of the exterior - with two differences, viz, the large lower panels, instead of being of plate glass, are of red cloth, which serves as a back ground to throw up and display the articles exhibited. The frieze or space above the columns, now merely covered with painted decorations, will, at a future period be adorned with paintings, illustrative of the manufacture of Sheffield ware."

From a Negretti & Zambra stereoview ca. 1860

It seems that the Crystal Palace Art Union, soon replaced the Sheffield companies the Court was intended for. The court is listed as untenanted in the 1858 Guide.

The Crystal Palace Art union, started in 1858, operated on a lottery system, the prizes it issues were at first Delamotte photographs [used here] two sets of stereoviews of the Palace, and two Parian porcelain busts of Ophelia and Miranda by W. C. MArshall. It continued over the years to offer Parian porcelain copies of Classical and specially commisioned busts, etc.

By 1864 other stall holders felt that it's success was unfairly supported by the directors of the Crystal Palace Company, and it left the building for offices in Regent Street.

"Veiled Bride" by Raffaelle Monti, issued by the Crystal Palace Art Union in 1861.

A reworking of his "Veiled Vestal" a great success in the Great Exhibition 1851, and in the collection of the descendents of Joseph Paxton's patron the 6th Duke of Devonshire, at Chatsworth House. [Apparently Keira Knightley can't take her eyes of it in a recent version of Pride and Prejudice.]

From then it became the "Chinese Court, displaying the collection of Chinese artefacts collected by the missionary Archdeacon of Hong Kong, John Henry Gray (1823-1890) who wrote "Walks in the City of Canton," published in 1875, which may be when the collection went on display in Sydenham.

Statues being refreshed in the Sheffield Court, ca.1920's. Duret's creepy "Improvasitore" in the foreground.

From another angle.


Onslow Ford's "Gordon of Khartoum" being dragged past the Sheffield Court after an exhibition. Ca 1930's


Leading out of this department will be found, at the back, a space devoted to the mineral manufactures, including works of art in terra-cotta, tiles, marble, and glass.
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9 Dec 2007 10:37


Art Journal 1854

This Court has been designed by Mr William Tite, and the architect has considered that the purpose to which the Court is applied might best be expressed by showing some of the principal ornamental uses of iron in architecture.

With this intention, he has designed for the façade of the court a restoration, in modern work, of the English ornamental enclosures of the 17th century, which differed but slightly from those prevailing at the same time in France in the style of Louis XIV.

The Birmingham Court ca. 1920's. Postcard by Photochrome

The English, however, are generally richer in foliage, while the latter are more fanciful in scroll work. At the period referred to, the whole of those enclosures were of wrought and hammered iron, cast-iron being at that time little known, but in the enclosure before us, although it has been executed on much the same principle as the old work, the ornaments are cast, in order to secure greater durability, cast-iron not being so easily destroyed as wrought iron, by the oxidation which proceeds with such enormous rapidity in this country. The castings have been most admirably executed, and so sharp and distinct were the outlines of the patterns, that they required but little after-finishing.

The pilasters are of enamelled slate, excellent for their imitation of marble, surmounted by iron capitals.

Stereoviw of the Crystal Palace - Brimingham Court at Sydenham, ca 1850's.

Entering through the gates in the centre, the visitor finds the interior of the court panelled in the style of the same period and decorated by Mr. Sang with emblematical paintings and other appropriate ornamentation in encaustic.

This seems to have been stripped out by the end of the buildings life.

In this court will be found articles in nickel silver, seal-presses, gilt toys, metallic bedsteads, and similar manufactured goods of universal use.

1858 Edition.

James Wooldridge, Manufacturer of Cabinet Brass Foundry, Brass fittings, Brass Toy Cannons, Mortars, Anchors, Bells, and a variety of other Brass Toys. 38, St Pauls Square, Birmingham.

The People's Lamps! - One Hundred New Designs, manufactured by Sysons Nibbs, Birmingham. May be had of any respectable Ironmonger. Price 1s. to 55s.

George Hanes Parkes, General Coach and Harness Furniture Manufacturer, for Home and Exportation, 10 and 11, Saint Mary's Row, Birmingham.

George Dowler, Bell Founder, Medallist, Die Sinker , and Manufacturer of Waxed Vestas and Vesta Boxes, Bottle Jacks, Corkscrews, Inkstands, Letter Padlocks. A great variety of useful and fancy articles. Established 1777. 91, Great Charles Street, Birmingham.

James Bedington, Manufacturer of Mathematical Instruments and Measuring Tapes of all descriptions. Ship and Pocket Compasses, Sun Dials, &c. &c. 10 russell Street, Saint Mary's Square, Birmingham.

Charles Alldridge & Son, Cabinet and Stationery Case Maunufacturers, Regent Parade, Caroline Street, Birmingham.

William Soutter, Manufacturer of Tea and Coffee Urns, Bronzed and Brass Kettles on Stands, Copper Kettles, Scoops, Warming Pans, &c. 10 and 11, New Market Street, Birmingham, and 65, Bartholemew Close, London.

Deykin & Sons, General Electroplaters and Maufacturers of Spoons, Forks, Buttons, &c. Works, 6, Jennens Row, Birmingham.

Benton & Stone, Manufacturers of Mandrill Drawn Tubing, Garden Engines and Syringes, Telescopic Hearth Brushes, &c. &c. 4 and 5, St Paul's Square, Birmingham. Agent, G. LLoyd, 70 Hatton Garden, London.

Peyton & Iles, Patentees and Maufacturers of every description of Hooks and Eyes, Thimbles, Pins, &c. Peel Works, Macdonald Street, Birmingham.

Henry Millward & Sons, Maufacturers of Needles, Fish Hooks, Fishing Tackle, &c. &c. Redditch.
G. B. Lloyd & Co., Manufacturers of of Lapwelded Iron Tubes for Steam Boilers, Gas and Steam Tubing, &c., Berkley Tune Works, Gas Street, Birmingham.

John C. Onions, Manufacturer of Smith's Bellows for Anchor Smiths, Machinists, and others. Patent Circular, House, Library, and every description of Fancy bellows, Patent Water and other True Irons, Anvils, Vices, and Hammers, Improved Blowing Machines, &c. Bradford Street, Birmingham.

The Patent Crystal Window Bars, adapted for domestic Windows, Shop fronts, Conservatories, Skylights, Vernadahs, Exhibition and Counter Cases, Aquariums, fen Cases, &c. &c., combining perfect transmissions of light, durability against rust or decay, and economy in the facility with which they are kept clean. aquariums with Slate or Marble Bottoms of various sizes, with or without Fountains, also of glass. Manufactured by Lloyd & Summerfield, Park Glass-works, Birmingham. All kinds of Flint Glass, cut and plain, Coloured Window Sheet, Optical Sheet, Coloured Lenses, &c. &c.

Messrs Elkington, Mason, & Co., Exhibit Specimens of their electro-Plate and Fine Art Manufactures in the Gallery of the Great Transept, and in their Court in the Nave.[/b]

Nelsons, post 1866: "Manufacturing Court."

1888: "Minor Manufacturing Court."

"In this court ( as in the Machinery Department below, next the Terrace) many interesting processes of manufacture are shown, including scarf weaving, fret-cutting, the making of Tunbridge ware, needle-making, and a process of printing cards without ink, &c."

The "Birmingham Court" in the 1930's arranged as the "Secular Court." [of sculpture.]

Photochrom ca 1930.

They also printed the guides to the Palace as well as postcards, and give the title "The Secular Court" despite the label above.

To the left cast #76, R.J. Wyatt's "Nymph Entering the Bath," against Tites's distinctive ironwork facade. The Ceramic Court can be seen opposite in the background.


To the right, Fraikin's "Venus with a Dove." Gladstone from Manchester Town Hall in the background, an interesting juxtaposition, dontcha think?

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9 Dec 2007 10:40


The Stationery Court has been designed and erected by Mr. J. G. Crace.

John Gregory Crace, seated with his son, and grandson.

He was also responsible for the [recently restored] decorations in hall of the National Gallery, London.

DELAMOTTE ca. 1859

The style of this Court is composite, and may be regarded as the application of cinque-cento ornamental decoration to a wooden structure. Externally the aim has been to furnish certain coloured surfaces, which shall harmonize with the plants around and the general aspect of the Palace. In the interior of the Court, the dark neutral tint on the lower level will be seen to serve as an admirable background to the objects exhibited; whilst the panels covered with cinque-cento decoration, combined with the elegant imitation of marquetrie work, produce an effect which deserves the highest praise.

Art Journal. 1854

Over the opening through which we enter this Court, and between the stained glass windows let into the wall, have been introduced allegorical figures of the arts and sciences applied in the manufacture of the articles exhibited in the Court, and over the opening at the back the artist has depicted the Genii of Manufacture, Commerce &c. In the centre of the panels throughout the Court representations are painted of the processes which the objects exhibited undergo during their manufacture.

Crace's own drawing of the Stationary Court. V&A Originally uploaded by Falkor.


1858 Guide: "

The visitor proceeding round the Stationery Court, from right to left, will find amongst the works of industry exhibited, specimens of bank-note engraving and medallion line-engraving, of the highest order; specimens of fancy stationery, book-binding, chromolithography, and ornamental printing, including specimens of the new art of nature-printing, also stereoscopic views, and other articles of the kind.

J. C. JONES & C). "1, Soho Square, London, First Class Pianofortes from Twenty-four Guineas. exhibitors in London and Paris exhibitions.


GEORGE ROWNEY & Co., 51, rathbone Place London. - Specimens of Drawing and Painting Materials. Specimens of Chromo-Lithography.

NATURE PRINTING. - The specimens exhibited of this new process for obtaining life-like or physiotopic impressions of plants are mostly of FERNS and Mosses, but the process is still further peculiarly applicable to the representations of the GRASSES, the LICHENS, and the Sea-Weeds. These results are obtained by placing the specimen to be copied upon a plate of soft lead, with a highly polished surface, and passing it, at a high pressure, between hard steel rollers. The specimen leaves its impression upon the lead, and gives not only its outline, but also the most delicate elevations and depressions of its surface with that sharpness and fidelity as to present a perfect facsimile of the original specimen in its natural size. The lead plate thus impressed - not being practically availiable for printing purpose - is copied by the electrotype process, by which a copper plate (the image on which is perfectly identical with the original impressed lead plate) is obtained, which can be printed from at an ordinary copper-plate press. Nature printing was introduced into Englan by Mr. Henry Bradbury, in 1853; the first application of the process has been most successfully exemplified by him in the magnificent folio Edition of "THE FERNS OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND," Nature printed. Descritions by Thomas Moore, F.L.S.; Edited by Dr. Lindley. Imperial Folio, with 51 Nature-Printed Plates. £6. 6s.

1888 Guide:

Entertainment Court.

Victorian Ant Farm

Photchrom, ca. 1925-36. Arranged as the "The Religious [Art] Court."
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9 Dec 2007 10:49


As the visitor passes around this Court, let him step out at one of the entrances on the north side, close to which he will find erected “THE CRYSTAL PALACE MEDAL PRESS.



This machine, which is official, and worked on behalf of the Company by Messrs. T. R. Pinches and Co., will be employed from time to time in striking commemorative medals, designed by Mr. Pinches or other artists connected with the Palace. This machine is worked by four men, one of whom adjusts the metal to be stamped between the sunk dies: as soon as the metal is fixed, the other workmen swing the lever rapidly round, and the great pressure produces impressions of the dies on the metal, which is turned out sharp and distinct, and then put into a lathe and completed. In the glass cases placed near, the visitor will have an opportunity of inspecting numerous specimens of medals produced by the machine, amongst which those in frosted silver deserve special notice for the beauty of their appearance.

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9 Dec 2007 10:53

The visitor, proceeding round the Stationary Court, from right to left, will find amongst the works of industry exhibited, fancy stationery, books, specimens of ornamental printing, pencil drawings, and other articles of the kind. At the back of this and of the Birmingham Court, or towards the west front of the building, is situated “THE HARDWARE COURT,” in which are placed household utensils, iron and zinc bronzes, gas-fittings, refrigerators, and numerous articles in metals.

At the back of this Court again, is a large space extending in a southerly direction from the Hardware Court to the Pompeian Court , devoted to the exhibition of furniture.

1858 Guide.

Pianos exhibited at the London International Exhibition, Crystal Palace, 1884

Here will be found not only useful articles of household furniture, but specimens of tapestry work, wood carving, picture frames, and other ornamental articles which give grace to our rooms, and which, by means of our great mechanical excellence, are daily becoming more and more within the reach of the great body of the people.
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9 Dec 2007 11:06


Emerging from the opening that leads to the south side of the Stationery Court, a few steps will bring him once more into the Nave, where he will notice a stand appropriated to the exhibition and printing by the Messrs. Day, of chromo-lithographic views of some of the most picturesque and interesting portions of the contents of the Crystal Palace.

These coloured views are produced by Mr. P. H. Delamotte, and they gain an additional interest from the fact, that the process of printing is witnessed by the Visitor in the palace. The greatest accuracy is obtained in fixing the colours by means of the registering process.

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9 Dec 2007 11:23

"A little beyond this is the


which we may enter and explore with advantage."

Looking north-west.

In this Court is placed a selection of the finest productions of the English and German schools of modern sculpture, prominent amongst which is seen the noble colossal head of Bavaria, by Ludwig Schwanthaler, of Munich, who enjoyed a European celebrity.

The original bronze statue to which it belongs, erected outside the city of Munich, is fifty feet in height, the pedestal on which it stands being thirty feet high.

Schwanthaler's "Head of Bavaria" during construction of the building. Delamotte ca. 1854

They seem to have built the Palace around it!



Interesting daguerrotype stereoview just come up for sale [2010], taken near the sign for the "Court of Invention." In the foreground John Gibson's Venus Venetrice, exhibited in 1862 as the Tinted Venus, original now at the Walker Gallery Liverpool. Behind is the work of Thomas Crawford, including the model of his Washington Monument. [Till I find the original file - this will have to do.]

Image ... 3cb170602e


in this detail you can see that the Head of Bavaria by Schwanthaler, was displayed on a plinth over 24 feet high, so that the head itself was level with the first floor!

South-west corner of the "English German Sculpture Court." Two daguerreotype images from the Guildhall Library. On the right can be seen the tall plinth on which was placed the "Head of Bavaria."

Placed on either side of the head of Bavaria, are two colossal “Victories,” by the same artist, from the “Ruhmeshalle,” or Hall of Fame, at Munich.

Amongst other works representative of the German school, may be noticed two statues of Nymphs by Schwanthaler (202 and 203), remarkable for their beauty of form.


Opposite the head of Bavaria, is another example of those embodiments of towns and nations, which are so frequently to be found on the Continent. The present colossal statue allegorizes Franconia, a province of Germany; it is characterized by much nobility of conception, and worthily sustains the reputation of the modern German sculptors. The original, by Professor Halbig, is erected at Kilheim, in Bavaria.


In the centre stands a part of the monument of the Frederick the Great at Berlin, designed by Professor Rauch, and near to it is placed a small model, showing the complete monument.



Stereoscopic Illustrations of the Crystal Palace Sydenham.

The German Sculpture Court.

In this court are some of the finest productions of the English and German Schools.

The Equestrian Statue in the centre, as seen in this view [above] is that of Frederick the Great, from the Monument erected at Berlin, designed by Professor rauch. The Group is Thorwaldsen's "Three Graces," and the Colossal Statue allegorizes Franconia, a province in Germany. The original statue is by Professor Halbig, and stands at Kilheim, in Bavaria.
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9 Dec 2007 18:16

Good work, Terry! This topic is really pioneering, but people just don't realise it. There's never been a full on look at the CP interior before using photos, stereoviews and whatever collectors, ie. yourself, can get their hands on. People think they can buy all the books about the Crystal Palace and become familiar with the layout of the interior? NO CHANCE! Again, it's all about this thread... What's up next, Terry?
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9 Dec 2007 21:19

CENTRAL TRANSEPT - West/Parade side.


Construction of the auditorium for the Opening ceremony. Delamotte 1854.


The Opening Ceremony, with Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Delamotte 1854

This is often described as the first news photograph, etc.
Delamotte, Metropolitan Museum, New York.


The opening ceremony in colour. Sold by Sothebys 2004, though photographed by Delamotte at the time.


This shows the visit of the Emperor and Empress of France with Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, Joseph paxton etc. etc, March 1855.

The Central Transept as described in the first guides. The Choragic monument of Lysicrates, with the Dioscuri from Rome




As a photograph, Delamotte.


As a stereoview. [The "English Portrait Gallery" - a row of busts - visible top right.]



The Peace Fete marking the end of the Crimean War. May 1856.


Peace Fete with full orchestra!


The Peace Fete in colour.

Marochetti's unpopular Scutari Monument to the left.

The last visit to the Palace by Queen victoria.


The auditorium returns for the rehearsal of Handel Festival in 1857

This must be by Delamotte for the first Festival in 1859.


Seating plan 1857



Showing the proscenium arch for the 2nd Handel Festival 1862.
Better for accoustics, no doubt.


Blondin walking the tightrope in 1861.

In the Central Transept, and NOT between the two water towers!


"Thomas Edison's perfected phonograph in use in the press gallery [above the Royal Box] during the Handel Festival at the Crystal Palace."


Looking past the orchestra during a dog show, and onto the North Nave.
If the view now could be superimposed the transmitter would be visible at the end.

Nostalgia series.

Lord Roberts inspecting a drill of boys from the Royal Naval College. Russell & Sons 1900 - 11


"The Court of Greek and Roman Sculpture"


With the "Dying Gaul" whose head was found recently . . .



And then back to the Egyptian Court where we started.
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9 Dec 2007 21:57


Having now explored the length and breadth of the ground floor of the Palace, we ascend the flight of stairs on the garden side (South), near the Great Transept, that leads to the main and upper galleries."

The main galleries are devoted to the exhibition of articles of industry. It will be sufficient to give the visitor a general list of the objects exhibited, and to point out the situations in which the various articles of manufacture are placed. The gallery in which the visitor stands, together with its return sides, is devoted to the section of precious metals and the composed ornaments."

In the north-east gallery beyond, towards the Sydenham or North end, are placed four hundred French and Italian photographs, illustrative of the architectural and sculptural arts of the periods represented by several Fine Arts Courts on this side of the nave; the photographs being arranged in the order of the courts beneath, and as nearly as possible over the courts which they serve to illustrate."

Here also will be found a fine collection of small works of art, consisting of statuettes, medals, and architectural ornaments, in like manner exemplifying the various styles from the Byzantine down to the Italian [reflecting those courts below.]"

These photographs and statuettes are visible in the image in the Italian Court post.

The India-Rubber / Vulcanite Court. Art Journal 1856
VULCANITE COURT - Illustrated London News May 9 1857

Continuing our visits to the Art Courts and depositories of Art-manufacture at the Crystal Palace, we ask our readers to ascend with us one of the stair cases which lead to the North-east Gallery, and examine a recent erection - costly in character, but in very pure taste - in which are displayed the goods of Mr. CHARLES GOODYEAR, of New York, the patentee and inventor of many applications of Indian-rubber to the purposes of Art-industry.

no very long period of time has elapsed since Dr. priestley ("Introduction to the Theory of Perspective," 1770) stated as one of the marvels of his age, the discovery of a vegetable gum which possessed the singular power to remove pencil-marks from paper; and, until very recently, this gum was used for nothing else, unless as one of the toys of boyhood, to give "springyness" to playing balls. Dr Priestley as little foresaw the uses to which it would be hereafter applied, as did he who forst produced an electric spark anticiapte the wonders of the "Telegraph." A visit to the Crystal Palace, and an examination of the contents of the stall of Mr. Goodyear cannot fail to create astonishment; for, while it will be seen how numerous are the objects already wrought out of indian-rubber, these will only convey an idea of the still larger number of uses to which it is destined to be applied.

Indian-rubber is known to be a gum obtained from trees which grow so abundantly in India, in Java, in Assam, in some parts of South America, especially Brazil, and in other places, as to produce a supply which m,ay be described as inexhaustible. Incisions are made through the bark of a tree, at certain periods of the year, from which flows a milky juice: this, when hardened by exposure to the atmosphere, is the "indian-rubber," which science has rendered applicable to all purposes for which wood can be employed, but having many advantages that wood never can havem while it possesses all the valuable qualitites of ivery or horn. It is to the objects formed of this material to which we now direct the attention of our readers. The space to which we are limited precludes for the present all comment on the nature and value of this now precious material, or the various processes through which it is passed before it is made availiable to the manufacturer; we shall, however, ere long, bring the subject, in all its details, under notice,- with a view first to aid the plans of the ingenious inventor - the inventor in so far as regards its many recent applications - and also to show the large extent of its capabilities.

About twenty years ago, various medals were awarded to Mr. Charles Goodyear, of New York, for the "new methods of manufacturing Indian-rubber;" including "applications of Indian-rubber to painting," to cloth, to shoes, &c. &c. From that time to this he has laboured with amazing vigour and perseverance, in spite of difficulties, all but insurmountable, until he has completely triumphed over them all, established large works in various parts of the States, and in Paris, and now in London, at 47, Leicester Square; while his "SHOW-ROOM" is - as we exhibit it underneath - at the Crystal Palace.

This show-room is in the North-east Gallery; it is not one of the Courts erected at the expense of the Company, but id the priovate stall of the proprietor. In grace and elegance of construction, howevere, it may be compared with any of those "structures" which ornament the lower division of the Palace; and it will, we hope, act as a stimulus, as well as an example, to producers, who, while they desire to exhibit their productions under advantageous circumstances, are willing also to adorn the building in which they are placed - thus advancing their own interests while contributing to the gratification and instruction of the visitors. Mr. Goodyear is a public benefactor by the liberality he has displayed; and there can be no doubt that all his "neighbours" in the gallery will greatly benefit by the attraction he has given to the locality in which he has placed the depot of his works. the architect of whose abilities he has availed himself is Mr. STANNARD WARNE, to whom the erection does much credit.

The stall, be it remembered, is made entirely of indian-rubber, and an examination of it will suffice to show the capabilities of the m,aterial for all the purposes of the cabinet-maker; within and without, will be noticed many works of his class - such as sofas, chairs, tables, bedsteads, drawers, work-tables, pillars and panels, with bas-reliefs. it is obvious that Art has not yet achieved what it may do for this branch of the "business;" but of the capabilities [in italics] of the material there can be no doubt: it is safe to anticipate its enormous use by the cabinet-maker for all the purposes of elegant furniture. We must content our readers by a bare enumeration of the other objects exhibited:- fruit-plates; card-trays; boxes; boxes inlaid with pearl; watch-cases; bracelets; brooches and rings, set with jewels; fruit-kives and paper-knives; ladies' work-boxes; fans; opera-glasses, jewel-boxes; toilet-boxes in great variety; picture-frames; eye-glasses; ink-stands; paper-folders; powder-flasks; corkscrews; pen-holders; pencil-cases 9of peculiar construction); drinking-cups; buttons; syringes; surgical instruments of various kinds; canes and walking-sticks; umbrellas; combs; brushes of all sorts; in fact, it will be necessary to examine the contents of this remarkable stall to obtain an idea of its variety and value, but cheifly to form a notion of the extent to which the manufacture must be eventually carried: for it will be difficult to concieve an object of utility or of Art which may not be ulitmately benefited by an invention that may not be ultimately benefited by an invention that may be applied in innumerable ways to the comforts, conveniences, and elegancies of life.

-Art Journal. 1856

In the North end, are works in porcelain and glass."

In the north-western gallery (at the back of the Assyrian Court), space is appropriated to Oriental manufactures. Here also is arranged a collection of most interesting paintings, lent to the Crystal Palace by the Honourable East India Company. They are copies of some frescoes, found on the walls of a series of caverns at Ajanta in Western India, and were made at the instance of the Indian Government, by Captain [Robert?] Gill of the Madras army. ... _P100.html

The paintings represent scenes in the life of Buddha and of Buddhist saints, and various historical events connected with the rise and progress of the Buddhist religion in India. The collection is valuable, as affording the means of comparing the state of art in the East and in the West during the same period.


In the north-western Transept are specimens of photography.

Nearer the [Parade side of the] Great Transept, in the same gallery, is arranged a valuable and interesting collection of photographs, illustrative of Oriental architecture, amongst which the Egyptian remains are particularly to be remarked.

Round the west end of the Transept itself philosophical instruments, cutlery, and fire-arms will be exhibited.

In the south-western portion of the gallery, leather and articles manufactured in India-rubber occupy the space to the centre of the south transept, from which point, to the end of the building, the gallery is devoted to perfumery and chemicals.

-General Guide 1854

1858 Guide

As can be seen in the map above, the Crystal Palace picture gallery moved from the North Wing to the South-west quarter of the first floor by 1858.

Art Journal 1862

Whatever neglect is shown by the public towards the numerous Art-works of every kind collected in the Crystal Palace - and, unfortunately, such neglect is but too universal and palpable - the picture gallery does not share; on the contrary, it is a great feature in the contents of the building, and its attraction is proved by the large number of visitors who constantly throng it, and its utility both to artists and the public by the sales effected through Mr. C. W. [Charles Wentworth] Wass [ 1817 - 1905, who seems to have gone bankrupt with his own gallery in New Burlington Street in April 1858], who, as superintendent of the gallery, performs his duties in the most satisfactory manner. The plan adopted there of having the price of each work distinctly marked upon it saves trouble to all parties. Any person seeing a picture he desires to possess, learns at the same time what it would cost, leaving him at once to reject or accept it as he pleases. Moreover, the gallery is constantly receiving novelties; for, when a painting is purchased, it is removed immediately, or within a very short time, and its place supplied by another. As a consequence, every month necessitates the publishing of a new catalogue.

It would be folly to compare the collection at Sydenham with what we are accustomed to see annually in the picture galleries of London. The object of the Directors of the Crystal Palace has been to allow any works, except copies - which, however, are admitted under certain special circumstances - to be hung on the walls, subject only to the judgement of the manager, who has the power to reject whatever he may deem inadmissible. Under such conditions, the exhibition assumes, as might be expected, a very miscellaneous and unequal character - a mixture of good and indifferent; it is a collection suited to a variety of tastes, and to purses more or less furnished with means to purchase; and this is an advantage not to be lost sight of.

The catalogue placed in our hands when we last visited the gallery gives a list of upwards of twelve hundred works of Art of all kinds, including the "Victoria Cross Gallery," the series of well-known pictures by Mr. Desanges, which occupy a room by themselves; they are forty-seven in number. The remainder may be thus classified:- upwards of five hundred oil paintings, about four hundred by foreigners, one hundred and four water-colour drawings, about sixty copies in water-colours of pictures by Turner in the National Gallery, and of a few by other English painters, and nearly sixty examples of sculpture. Among the names of British exhibitors (we take them as they appear, and not in what may be presumed as order of merit) are those of

G. Pettitt
J. A. Houston A.R.S.A.
A. Cooper, R.A.
M. Claxton
Miss Kate Swift
G. D. Leslie
J. Archer R. S. A
J. Chalon R.A
J. J. Hill
F.S. Cary
Miss E Osborn
G. Chambers
Miss A. F. Mutrie
B. R. Faulkner
W. H. Paton A.R.S.A.
J. Ward R. A.
A. Johnston
Louis Haghe
J. H. S. MAnn
C.Lees, R.S.A
R. Solomon
F. W. Watts
R. S. Lander, R.S.A
John Martin
Mrs. E. M. Ward

and others.


The foreign schools are, as a whole, better represented, perhaps than our on; French, Belgian, and German, each contributing its quota. At the head of these is Baron [Egide Charles Gustaf/ Gustave] Wappers [1803 - 1874], of Antwerp, with his 'Death of Christopher Columbus.' [above]and 'Anne Boleyn taking leave of her Daughter, Elizabeth, afterwards Queen of England;'

Beard's four paintings illustrative of 'Slavery' follow close after;

then there are works by

Verhoevin Ball,
Van Luppen,
Van Meer
De Nater
F. Gons
De Loose
Van Shendel
Van den Eycken

and many others.

That part of of the gallery devoted to water-colour pictures is by no means the least interesting. The copies of the "Turner" paintings, &c., make a brilliant show; in a word, the whole collection deserves, as it daily recieves, the notice of the many visitors who find their way to it.


THE CRYSTAL PALACE PICTURE GALLERY. - It is with much regret we learn that Mr. Charles Wentworth Wass is about to withdraw from the direction of the gallery - from the post he has occupied during twenty-two years, honourably, faithfully, and most successfully, for the benefit of the profession and the public. The Crystal Palace also has largely profited by his services: that is so notorious as not to need a word. He will carry with him the respect of all (and the number is very large) with whom he has been associated. The gallery, it seems, is to be let to a foreign picture dealer, who is not expected to be guided by a desire to advance the interests and extend the influence of British Art; he will be a dealer - neither more nor less, and, if we understand rightly, will act "on the pemises" as an auctoneer once a month. The change cannot be other than a calamity.

Minor Topics, Art Journal April 1880 page


The Picture Gallery as the "Holiday Court," ca. 1905 from the north entrance. "The Young Dick Whittington" by Charles Bell Birch is on the left, and a nymph also exhibited at the Great Exhibition, by Richard James Wyatt to the right.


The interior of the "Holiday Court, ca. 1905."

Along the south gallery, articles of clothing are displayed. Next to these are various miscellaneous articles, including work-boxes, fishing tackle, and the thousand and one objects of general use."

"From this department[south-eastern], to the point in the gallery to which we first led the visitor, the space is appropriated to the department of substances used as food."

The visitor may now ascend the flight of spiral stairs in the central Transept, and step into the upper gallery, which is carried round the building, where a curious effect is produced by a series of circles extending along the building, and formed by the casting of each of the girders in four pieces.


From this gallery a view is obtained of the whole length of the nave: and if we station ourselves at any angle of the north and south transepts, the nave will be seen to the greatest positive advantage.


A still higher ascent up the winding staircase brings us to the gallery which extends round the centre transept itself; and from this great height, nearly 108 feet above the level of the floor, a noble bird’s eye view is gained, and the large Monte Cavallo group below, as well as the modern Castor and Pollux, sink into comparative insignificance."

On the first small gallery, above the main gallery in the central transept towards the road, will be found an exceedingly interesting collection of drawings and models for the fountains in the Crystal Palace, which have been furnished by:

Mathew Digby Wyatt (1820 1877)

Designed Byzantine, Mediaeval, Renaissance and Italian Courts, and the Screen of Kings and Queens.

Owen Jones (1809-1874) (the figures on whose designs were modelled by Signor Raffaelle Monti)

Designed Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Alhambra Courts. Also the colour scheme of both the Great Exhibition and Crystal Palace.

Mr. John Thomas (1813-1862)

Designed Musical Instruments Court, and ststues of Kings and Queens, and the Shakespeare Monument on the terrace.

Mr. John Bell (1812-1895)

Designed several of the upper terrace figures and the Triton fountain.

Baron Carlo Marochetti (1805-1868)

Designed some of the upper terrace figures and Richard Couer de lion and Queen Victoria, {on a horse].

Baron Launitz (1797-1869).

Designed Gutenburg Monument.

M. Hector Horeau (1801-1872) .

The models display much artistic treatment, and no small amount of inventive fancy.

At a very early period, a sum of one thousand was set aside for premiums to be awarded to artists who should produce suitiable dsfings [for the fountains.] These designs were not left open to general competition, but a few artists were selected and required to send in drawings, for which they would be paid. the designs of the fountains were to be embelmatic of commerce and the peaceful and industious arts.

In due course, the directors recieved the models and drawings, many of which showed considerable taste, while others were totally unsuited for displays of water, and some were impracticable, and impossible of execution. there were fountains of ancient art, and modern art, ancient poetry and modern poetry, ancient philosophy and modern philosophy. then there were fountains sacred to agriculture and to commerce; to Flora and to the Graces; to animal life, and vegetable life; to all nations and to all climes.

Among the boldest of these designs was one contibuted by a famous French artist - [Hector Horeau surely?.] It was intended to be a colossal glass globe of seventy feet in diameter, which was to occupy the centre of one of the basins, and the interior of which was to be fitted with walks and galleries. The globe was surmounted by a metal figure of Britannia, 200 feet in height, the head of which would be some feet higher than the top of the great transept of the crystal palace. The metal of which the figure was to be constructed was of polished zinc; the form was that of Minerva, and in the top of her helmet was to be placed a bright star formed by an electric light, and which could be distinctly seen for several miles round London. Immense coloured glass banners, bearing the devices of the flags of every nation, were to be grouped around the feet of Britannia, while jets of water, flying in every possible and impossible direction, crossing and re-crossing each other and in the most admired disorder, were to play over the head and around the body of this glistening and light-shedding Minerva.

It is hardly necessary to say that the latter design was not accepted, nor were any of the others; and it was finally decided out of the materials afforded to construct some designs which would be considered at once suitiable and practicable.

-Routledge's Guide to the Crystal Palace. 1854


Descending the staircase by which we reached the transept gallery, we regain the main floor of the palace, and proceed to the basement story, a portion of which, on the garden side, is appropriated to the exhibition of machinery in motion.

1858 Guide.


"Printed in the Machinery Department."



Last week we gave an abridged report of the Centenary Dinner of the Society of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce; and this week we have given an illustration of this interesting festival, which took place at the Crystal Palace, Sydenham.

As the society of Arts claims the honour of the parentage of the Great Exhibition of 1851, and as the Crystal Palace stands in filial relation to that great event, the Council of the Society of arts very properly considered it both agreeable and appropriate that, on completion of its first centenary, its members should assemble under the auspices and protection of the roof of its famous crystal grandchild. This venerable Society of arts is certainly one of the most prolific of parents. Originally founded as a society for the promotion of arts and manufactures, it soon outstripped these narrow dimensions, and took "commerce" under its protection. Its all-embracing arms have, during the past year, been thrown around the sacred cause of "education," and its educational exhibition, which opened last week, promises to be as successful as any of the previous efforts of the society. A society with objects so varied, and ramifications so extensive, could not certainly have selected a more appropriate place for its reunion than within the walls of an institution having in common with itself many kindred objects, seeking by vast and novel means to obtain those ends; and possessing most excellent cuisine, and a lofty and well-ventilated dining-room.


This must be in the basement, as the ceiling is too wide to be anything but the underneath of the ground floor. I am suggesting that this could be the area in the south transept, as there is a coner and the catering department is described as taking up the south wing. These proved inadequate and brick buildings were erected where the gardens next to the Triangle now are.

Passing on now, through the opening under the east end of the central transept, the visitor finds himself standing before -



I'm going to cover this subject in the following thread: "Statues and Fountains in Crystal Palace Park"
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9 Dec 2007 22:13

Terry, my old mate, you've covered the Central Transept extremely well indeed! I like your systematic approach--tackled like a real historian. The Jan Piggott book is written from an artistic point of view and doesn't even answer a fraction of the burning questions, but instead creates more unanswered questions. Seriously, the Jan Piggott approach is flawed beyond belief. In him is not a real historian, who’s passionate about the local area, but an academic whose picked a subject to write about. Terry is the first historian to ever cover the palace in such a comprehensive manner. This is only a forum posting and based heavily on Samuel Philip's text, albeit updated and brought to life by many unseen pics gathered up from Terry's collection. Seriously, mate, you should consider writing a book about the palace then you would have a reason to a) acquire rights to more images and b) use much rarer images from your collection. You've definitely got the right idea on how to deal with the palace proper. Your command of English is great--wouldn't need an editor. This topic is the perfect framework for any historian to build upon given access to a collection like Terry's; again, you are exactly on the right track, mate. This is precisely how it should be done. This is just what Lambeth, Croydon, Beckenham, Camberwell, Lewisham and Penge needs--a real book on the Crystal Palace! Come on guys, I know you all agree with me re: my little rant about the Jan Piggott book! Look above and throw your existing book in the nearest bin; here's to future research into the palace! Terry has proven his potential; the blueprint is outlined above.


My last word on the Jan Piggott book is, can suggest anyone suggest a better book presently published on the Crystal Palace?

Decide for yourself readers. The book is searchable, and sort of “browse-able” on google books."

It is worth actually reading, and not just looking at the pictures!


I have tried to avoid duplicating this and any other book written since the Palace burnt down, by using the primary text of the first guide book to the Palace, the 1854 edition by Samuel Philips, published by Bradbury and Evans. This is also on google books as a scanned PDF, and also plain text.

There were of course later editions:

1855 with additions
1858. This was revised by Shenton [who had helped write the Handbook to the Portrait Gallery.

This shortened version was used till at least the 1880's, with further revisions.

Penny Guide of 1864 ... ce&f=false

The other Handbooks to the sections of the Crystal Palace seemed to only to have been published in 1854. They are as follows.

With Illustrations.
By Owen Jones and Samuel Sharpe (1799-1881)‚ [Egyptologist and translator of the Bible.]

[This was followed up by THE EGYPTIANS IN THE TIME OF THE PHAROAHS by Sir J Gardiner Wilkinson "being a companion to the Crystal Palace Egyptian Collections" 1857. I have just had a flick through my copy and it doesn't seem to have any direct reference to what stood at Sydenham.

With Illustrations.
By George Scharf, Jun.

With Illustrations.
By George Scharf, Jun

With Illustrations.
By Owen Jones

With Illustrations.
By A. H. Layard.
6d. ... q=&f=false

With Illustrations.
By M. Digby Wyatt and J. B. Waring.
8d. ... q=&f=false

With Illustrations.
By M. Digby Wyatt and J. B. Waring.
8d. ... q=&f=false

With Illustrations.
By M. Digby Wyatt and J.B. Waring.

By M. Digby Wyatt and J. B. Waring.

With Illustrations.
By George Scharf, Jun.


By Mrs Jameson.

By Owen Jones.
6d. ... q=&f=false

Described by Samuel Philips. ... ce&f=false

With illustrations.
By Professor Edward Forbes and Dr. Latham.

With Plan and Drawings.
By Professor Owen.

These were all issued separately, with their own distinctive wrappers and also:

"The above may be had, handsomely bound in three volumes, price 13s. 6d."

"The Proprietors reserve to themselves the right of authorising a Translation of the above works.

as well as

"The Ten Chief Courts of the Sydenham Palace" Published by Routledge ... ce&f=false
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9 Dec 2007 22:48



The removal of the Crystal Palace building from Hyde Park, and its re-erection at Sydenham, was recorded by PHILIP HENRY DELAMOTTE, and published using the new “paper prints” using negatives, as one of the first photographically illustrated books,

“The Progress of the Crystal Palace, for the Directors of the Crystal Palace Company.”


Delamotte also exhibited large prints of the Crystal Palace at Sydenham separately, so it is likely that he took more images at this time, and separate volumes may have additional images. [He also went on to create stereoviews of the Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition of 1857.]

Delamotte returned to the Crystal Palace in 1859 to take more images, published by the Crystal Palace Art Union & Negretti & Zambra, as prints and two sets of stereoviews. Some of these images seem to have been sold on to the photographic firm of FRITHS without Negretti & Zambra’s permission, the relevance being that some of Frith’s stock may be unrecorded Delamotte images of 1859.

NEGRETTI & ZAMBRA. 1854 - 1900

For the first 50 years of the Crystal Palace, the creation and publication of photographic images were the sole preserve of the company of NEGRETTI & ZAMBRA.

They were a firm producing precision instruments, at the time these were called "Philosophical Instruments,"- barometers, binoculars, microscopes and the new fangled cameras. [Science had only relatively recently separated as a branch of Philosophy.] In fact I do think that combined with the photographic opportunities the unusual amount of natural light the Crystal Palace building offered, the creation of contemporary images of the Crystal Palace were as much a way of promoting this new technology as they were sold as souvenirs of the Palace.

Daguerreotypes and Ambrotypes.

Negretti & Zambra seem to have returned to a slightly earlier technology, that of daguerreotypes to make the first images of the Crystal Palace they sold, offering their stock of stereoviews of the Crystal Palace in the Daguerrotype as well as the paper print format.

Daguerreotypes, which are a direct positive image made in the camera on a silvered copper plate, then cased in under glass to prevent tarnishing and the loss of the image. They are traditionally considered to be unique, as there is no negative to produce multiple prints. a less well known technology is the ambrotype, this is a glass negative [image] which cased with a drk reflective background to make it appear positive.

As collectors items, all value is lost if one were to take apart the orginal sealed case to find out if one had a daguerreotype or an ambrotype, which is why no one has every done this, but as an ambrotype plate can be used to make multiple copies, many so called unique "daquerreotypes" of the Sydenham Crystal Palace, could just turn out to be one of many formats of a particular image - and not unique !

Dageurreotypes -
Ambrotypes -

There are many formats of stereoviews of the Crystal Palace, daguerreotype, tissue, and glass as well as paper stereoviews, which themselves come in different types of mount.

None of the paper stereoviews are explicitly labelled by their creator even the LSC set, occasionally by their retailer, including [confusingly] the London Stereoscopic Company mark visible on some N&Z views. I personally believe N&Z produced every unmarked view.

I have covered the subect of Negretti and Zambra stereoviews, stereographs, stereoscopes in the following thread: ... 3a1c4e40e5

The market for stereoviews declined generally by the end of the 1860’s, and the small “carte de visite” was the next format to be retailed, later followed by the larger "cabinet card." Both of these are more what we understand as a photographic print, a single/mono image, rather than a pair of stereo images, and not requiring any of Negretti & Zamra's equipment to view them

To what extent Negretti and Zambra made new images, or relied on their old stock of images is unknowable for certain. The market seems to be for the most decorative or those views comprehensive enough to take in the whole building. The same few images were published many times and other perhaps never. They did record the collapse of the north wing in 1861, the fire of 1866, and some images show the displacement of casts from the Court of Christian Monuments in the late 1860's.

Negretti & Zambra continued to hold the concession for the creation and publication of images of the Crystal Palace, [as well as portraits of the paying public] from 1854 till about 1900. The head office of Negretti & Zambra in Holborn were bombed in the Second World War which is usual explanation for the negatives to all these images no longer existing, but there is a mention of their archive being moved to Sydenham in 1900, and I believe that this archive is what is held by the Everitt family.

The head office of Negretti & Zambra in Holborn were bombed out in the Second World War. There is a mention of their archive being moved to Sydenham in 1900.


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10 Dec 2007 00:08

Great job Terry! I hope this thread will inspire more Sydenhamites to take up the challenge of the Crystal Palace--to know it inside out--and be proud! In this thread Terry has contributed many rare pictures to help us envisage the interior of the palace as best as we can considering it was burnt down and wiped off the face of this earth some 71 years ago. This thread has sure surpassed the Nelson one. If I was to narrow down Terry's single best contribution I would say it's got to be none other than the start of the Garden Gallery: The Irish Vestibule! Yes, this came as quite a shock and surprise to me. I wish it were available in higher res. BTW, I have Irish ancestors from Kilkenny! The "compare and contrast" should also be applied to the Byzantine Court, now my 2nd favourite under the Egyptian, which looked a stunning green and yellow. I would love to go out tomorrow to see a building with that same type of architecture. Thanks again, Terry! :D

10 Dec 2007 00:21


Carte de Visite

These are photographic prints, mounted on cards the size of visiting cards created from the early 1860's.

A good example of these, show the attractions that came to the Sydenham site of the Crystal Palace.

Signor Ethardo (1825-1911)


MORE on Ethardo at the bottom of this thread - link below. ... it=ethardo


More on the MECHANICAL TURK - A Victorian robot? on this thread - link below. ... aton18.png


13th June 1864 : The 10th anniversary of the opening of the Palace. Mr Coxwell made his second ascent in his high-level balloon. A chimpanzee, the only one in London, was sent for the tropical department.


Another image that has come to light. The fire of 1866 took the North Nave and the Tropical Department, taking the life of the chimpnanzee with it presumably.

Havn't dared to start trying to cover taxidermy at the Crystal Palace!

Aftermath of the Crystal Palace Fire of 1866



Human Interest.








"Crystal Palace September 1888."



The image below taken slightly to the right of the one above.


The Italian Terrace.






NEGRETTI & ZAMBRA Cabinet cards

These are larger and re invigorated the market for photographic prints.
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10 Dec 2007 00:26

Last edited by Falkor on 10 Dec 2007 14:19, edited 1 time in total.

10 Dec 2007 04:57


Portrait Rooms

A very interesting article was printed recently in 'Crystal Palace Matters' the journal of the Crystal Palace Foundation, about dating this portraits by the serial numbers, can't remember which issue at the moment.



"John & Archie."






and on his own.


Same chair!


Grand lady.



Late Victorian Gentleman "Taken Xmas 1888".


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10 Dec 2007 05:53


The only exception to Negretti & Zambra's exclusive right to retail images of the Crystal Palace at Sydenham, seems to have been the series of 46 stereoviews published by the LONDON STEREOSCOPIC COMPANY, created by Delamotte's assistant THOMAS RICHARD WILLIAMS (1825-1871).

Getty now owns all the London Stereoscopic Company’s archive, but don't seem to know what they have, or aren't interested to search unless money and legitimate publication is involved.

Of course a company retailing images, doesn't necessarily indicate who the photographer was. As it was T. R. Williams, not P. H. Delamotte that had experience of 3d photography, I wonder if all the early stereoviews were taken by him.

The extent of what they published seems limited to this one entry in a catalogue of 1856

London Stereocopic Company
54 Cheapside
313 Oxford Street


Shewing the various Courts and points of greatest interest, with descriptive letter-press at the back of each slide. . .

. . . . The above subjects can be had beautifully executed on Daguerreotype plates, at 8s. 6d. each. For beauty of tone and minute accuracy of detail, these slides are the finest ever issued.

The Second series of about 200 subjects taken from the Crystal Palace, in addition to and including many of the above, without description, mounted at 2s. each slide; on Glass 5s. each."



London Stereoscopic Company - Crystal Palace stereoviews, stereographs, stereoscopes are covered in the following thread.

EDIT: Brian May has since put up a site dedicated to this company, below a link to all the images. ... lace1.html

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10 Dec 2007 10:29

Damn, this topic is getting too high level now... No book could ever be as good as this! The Jan Piggott book hasn't got a leg to stand on right now; it's seriously close to the fireplace. Samuel Phillips' Guide To the Crystal Palace, Park and Gardens revised, edited and updated by Tulse Hill Terry! :D I would have paid £100 for a copy if I knew it contained the above content. However, it's right here as a free read; just not on Google yet! :P This topic will make Sydenham Town Forum become famous.

10 Dec 2007 19:24


The successor as official photographer to the Crystal Palace, post 1900, was the firm of J. RUSSELL & SONS. They were in time to take advantage of the new craze for picture postcards, and issued many old images of the Palace from the Negretti & Zambra archive, as well as contemporary ones of events taking place at the time, the Mexican Village, balloons ascending etc. They also issued a book of 16 views.

Russell and Sons weren't nearly as long at the Palace as Negretti and Zambra, they seem to have closed their association with the Crystal Palace before 1911.

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10 Dec 2007 23:33

Festival of Empire of 1911



A map of the Festival of Empire 1911 at Crystal Palace, from an old A-Z that I originally posted on the Rotary postcard thread, and which has 'gravitated' to Wikipedia!

The Festival of Empire of 1911 appears to have been the next major event to inspire images to have been taken at the Crystal Palace and published as postcards and in guides.

The Festival of Empire 1911, Crystal Palace, Sydenham, as published by CAMPBELL AND GRAYis covered in this thread - link below.




The Festival of Empire 1911, Crystal Palace, Sydenham, as published by ROTARY is covered in this thread - link below.






The Festival of Empire 1911, Crystal Palace, Sydenham, as published by NATIONAL SERIES is covered in this thread - link below. ... ef0f#13283


Sold 16-Mar-08 22:03:46 GMT to 1924lineone


Sold 23-Mar-08 22:04:22 GMT




#107 Published by Valentines.

#108. Published by Valentines





Postcard #44 THE KING AND QUEEN ENTERTAINING 1000,000 CHILDREN AT THE CRYSTAL PALACE. JUNE 30TH 1911. [NOT in the Peskett &Tonkin book.] Pub Campbell Gray

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