Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Lane's Telescopic View of the Opening of the Great Exhibition

This is Lane's Telescopic View of the opening of the 1851 Great Exhibition by Queen Victoria: it's an enchanting piece of ephemeral publication which I've seen a couple of times in real life and am completely in love with. These images come from today's auction at Toovey's in Sussex where this one failed to sell. There is usually a tiny lens in the peephole at the front and the lithographic panels are all hand coloured - and there can be huge variations in the colouring ranging from the subtle to the close-on insane neon bright. It's such a great idea you wonder why people aren't still producing such things today. Auction records show five or six in the last few years selling each time for quite a range of prices, between £250 and £550. Perhaps this one was just estimated a little too high at £500-700 and maybe that's why it didn't sell. Still, if anyone I know has come into enormous amounts of money and would like to treat me this Christmas...!

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