The Exhibition. —We have been favoured with a peep at the 10s. edition of the Exhibition Catalogue,—the " Official Descriptive and Illustrated" edition—" got up "in a superior'manner by Messrs. Clowes and Sous. We first meet with iithographed plans of the ground floor and gallery of the building. Proceeding from the great Southern entrance, flanked on both sides by the Executive offices, the eye takes in the broad transept —the objects of interest in which are the ornamental gates at each extremity, various pieces of sculpture, large fountains, &c. The transept being taken as a place of departure, the building is divisible into two portions, —the western half —appropriated to the productions of the United Kingdom, India, and the colonies: and the eastern half, allotted to goods from foreign countries. Proceeding to the west, along the nave, or central avenue, are placed a statue of the Duke of Eutland, the Spitalfields trophy, the horse and dragon, Canadian timber, specimens of marble and stone carving, of crystallization, cross in Caen stone, altar screeen, Eldon and Stowell group, Honduras timber, model of Coalbrook Dale glass house, model of Liverpool, &c. The avenues proceeding from the nave westward contain successively printed fabrics of Manchester, London and Glasgow; flax manufactures of Ireland ; woollen and mixed fabrics; Sheffield wares ; the hardsvare of Birmingham ; Australian, Canadian, and East Indian productions. The avenues fronting the nave, running east and west, contain agricultural implements, sculpture, mineral and mining products, and part of the colonial specimens. The avenues in the northern half, branching from the nave, are filled with cotton, leather, furs, part of the mineral manufactures,' furniture, paper, fine arts, Malta, Ceylon, and the remainder of the East Indian articles, carriages, marine and other engines, Guernsey and Jersey contributions, locomotive engines, railway mechanism, lathes and tools, cotton, woollen, flax, silk, lace, paper and printing machines in motion ; models and naval architecture. The eastern part of the nave contains the Great Diamond, wine jars from Spain, Artillery, statue of Michael and Satan, Parisian organ, colossal statue of Godfrey de Bouillon, stained glass window, Amazon, colossal lion, church bell, group of horses, block of zinc ore, and other objects. -The northern and southern avenues from the eastern part of the nave are devoted to goods from foreign countries. The refreshment rooms are at the N.E. and N.W. corners, and at the northern end of the transept. The galleries, North, South, East, and West, are allotted to the remainder of the British collection, and of the French and other contributions for which space has not been found below, — a splendid organ, electric clock, and other scientific instruments, being the principal objects. The total amount raised by subscription in the United Kingdom towards the Exhibition is 76,6791, 17s. Id, of which the cities of Westminster and London, without including the suburbs, have furnished 35,000/. This " great Parliament of labour," as one of the morning journals appropriately styles it, was opened on May Day by her Majesty in person. Shortly before 12 o'clock, a most brilliant procession started from Buckingham Palace, and as the hour struck entered the precincts of the Crystal Palace. Long struggling lines of crowd fought their way into the nave. Down upon the vaulted crystal came a blaze of sunlight. The phrase leaped front mouth to mouth—" Queen's weather!" Foreigners caught it up, and echoed it with satisfaction— lt fait temps de la Relne ! Arrived at the temporary throne which had been erected, the ministers and great officers of the household gathered round their sovereign. The actual business of the opening commenced with the reading of the Commissioners' report by Prince Albert, which the Queen accepted in an appropriate speech. Prince Albert then presented to her Majesty the various editions of the catalogues published, and resumed his place by her side. The Archbishop of Canterbury then offered up the Inauguration prayers, arnicas his voice died away, the sublime " Hallelujah Chorus " burst forth from the bands of the Grenadier and Life Guards. Forming again, the procession conducted her Majesty through the principal avenues of the building-, which having
been inspected, the whole party returned again to the transept, where the Queen declared the Exhibition opened, and the ceremonial was over. • Upwards of thirty thousand spectators visited the Exhibition on that day. They must have found a cursory glance at some of the more striking compartments all they could essay, seeing that to walk round them was a great task, to survey them the work of weeks. Some of the objects concentrated within the walls were of such interest as to arrest the attention of the most fatigued. Among these was the stand of Messrs. De La Rue and Co.;, the colourists and fancy stationers, where was a machine working off elegant envelopes as quick as lightning before the eyes of the bpectators. Messrs. Brett's telegraph machine printed off the words " Printed on the Inauguration of the Exhibition of all Nations, May 1, 1851," on satin slips, which were presented to Her Majesty. On entering the foreign nave, the visitor finds himself between the marbles of Acropolis and the ivories of Canton, as he proceeds, he finds Spanish minerals and silks on one hand, and a display of Swiss horology on the other ; further on, leaving the artistic treasures of Italy and a vast array of the ingenious and brilliant industry of France, frowning in artillery and smiling in flower-spangled tapestry, he finds himself amongst the princely splendour of the Austrian courts, miracles of carving, gilding, and inlaying, that seem the labour of a life, —from thence marches under the heraldic banners of the Zollverein, which seems to have contributed specimens of every extant article, both of use and luxury, glances at the yet unfilled territory of Russia, and arrives in the ample space where America puts forth her varied strength, in competition with the old world. Silent astonishment is generally the very natural result of such revelations.
Among the various articles in the Catalogue we observe a vase of shell flowers. The story of its fabricator is interesting. She is reported to be a poor woman upwards of 40 years of age, and formerly laboured for years far below ground in a coal-pit. She had the misfortune to fall down the shaft, a great depth, and sustained severe and lasting injury. Subsequently she married a poor fisherman of Southporc, and is the mother of eleven children, eight of whom are still living and around her. Her first attempt to contribute to the support of the family was, by making little models of cottages, churches, &c, and adorning them with sand and shells gummed upon the surface. With the money thus earned she tried to form shell-flowers, but only in a small way, and with limited means, and. by no means good materials ; till one day her husband came home after a severe storm, and mentioned that he had found, and left on the beach, a tree covered with what he called barnacles adhering to it. She requested him to bring it home, as she thought she could make something of it. She found the shells to be of a kind offering excellent material for the construction of flowers. Each pair (bivalve) consists of two large and two smaller overlapping plates, and one long taper proboscis-like filament of shell. These her husband procures for her in large quantities ; and having cleansed them and made them beautifully white, this ingenious and wholly self-taught artist proceeds to construct flowers from natural models, with a taste and judgement which would be rich gifts in any station of life, but which, under the circumstances, are most extraordinary in a poor fisherman's wife. A person seeing some specimens of her skill, ordered some more, which were to be of the most elaborate character, as they were designed for the great Exhibition. She completed them, and learned, to her great disappointment,when delivered and paid for, that the purchaser deemed them his own, and positively refused to attach her name to them. It was then too late for her to commence afresh and complete any considerable work within the limited time remaining ; but Mr. B. Fothergill, of Sotithport, on learning her story, wrote to Mr. Thomas Bazley, detailing the circumstances, and through that gentleman's representations to his colleagues, the royal commissioners, he succeeded in obtaining special permission for a piece of this curious shell work to be received later. The whole work, mounted on a stand, and covered with a glass shade, is about 2 ft. 6 in. in height, and will not occupy a foot square of table space. In a porcelain vase are grouped together a collection of exotic and other choice flowers, mingled with wild flowers, and the blossoms of some
of our flowering plants, trees, and hedges. The foot of the vase is encircled with a simply elegant wreath of the hedge or briar rose. The stems and leaves are procured from the makers of artificial flowers in London; and the artist has also procured thence the pigments with which she tints the flowers with so much delicacy and accuracy as to make them closely resemble nature.
It has been computed that no less than 100,000 visitors arrived in London in the first few days of May. Evening services have been arranged at the Church of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, the Rev. Dr. Jelf and Rev. T. Dale, being among the preachers nominated. Exeter Hall has been secured by some bodies of Dissenters for Sunday services.
Our readers will learn with deep regret that the English news of this week records the secession of Mr. Simeon to the Church of Rome. Mr. Simeon has resigned his seat in Parliament, and of course has ceased to be a member of the Canterbury Association. Little as we or any of our readers sympathize with Mr. Simeon in this step, it is impossible that we can forget the warm and steady interest which he always took in the affairs of the Association, and his generous and friendly attention to the colonists; or that we can regard otherwise than with the most pain ful regret, the fatal error into which he has fallen. It is pleasing to us to be able to add that Capt. Simeon, who Has been the chairman of the colonists since the first ships sailed, and who may shortly be expected in the colony, disapproves as strongly as any of ourselves of this step on the part of his brother, and does not in any degree share the opinions which led to it.
A fine vessel of 900 tons, was christened "Canterbury " by Lady Lyttelton in May last. She is one of the fleet shortly to be due. The ceremony took place after a public breakfast given at the East India Docks to the first portion of the main body.
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ENGLISH NEWS., Lyttelton Times, Volume I, Issue 34, 30 August 1851
ENGLISH NEWS. Lyttelton Times, Volume I, Issue 34, 30 August 1851
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