DICKINSON'S COMPREHENSIVE PICTURES OF THE GREAT EXHIBITION OF 1851, from the Originals Painted for H.R.H Prince Albert, by Messrs. Nash, Haghe, and Roberts, R.A.
London: Dickinson, Brothers, 1854.
London: Dickinson, Brothers, 1854. First edition. Two volumes in one. Large folio (584 x 425 mm) with 55 chromolithographs, handfinished and heightened with gum arabic. Two title pages printed in red and black, two contents pages bound in the first volume and two frontispieces. With the exception of 'The Inauguration', and the four general interior and exterior views, all the plates are accompanied by explanatory text leaves, as issued. All but one plate have separate paper plate-guards, and a few plates have guards on the verso as well. Plates generally in Fine condition with one or two marginal spots and a faint stain on India 4. Several text pages with minor offsetting from plates, a few of the early pages with a bend running near the gutter, otherwise clean and fresh. In the original binding of half-morocco over patterned silk cloth with the title printed in gilt on the front board as well as the spine. Original coated end-papers clean and tight, without any separation to the page block. Minor wear along outer hinges, but leather holding strong and not cracked, corners split. In all an excellent copy with a Fine run of the plates. "Great Britain's Prince Albert had proposed a trade exhibition like no other before it, truly international, with the work of nearly 14,000 exhibitors from twenty-six nations on view. To house such an event, Joseph Paxton (1803-1865) designed a new type of building, using the latest in cast-iron and glass technology. Sited in London's Hyde Park, the landmark structure, 1848 feet long by 408 feet wide, was visited by more than six million people in the exhibition's five months. Public feeling for the temporary building was so strong that it was re-erected in South London, in enlarged form, the year that these volumes appeared. Fire destroyed the Crystal Palace in 1936. Dickinson's Comprehensive Pictures document the pomp and ritual in this resplendent space, and the exhibits' from European bourgeois furnishings and modern machinery to an Arab tent from Tunis, draped with leopard and lion skins." Columbia University Catalog (Item #765)