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Exhibitions and records of works of art

Prince Albert recognised the importance of photography to record and document notable exhibitions and works of art


The Great Exhibition, 1851: Collection of Feathers (Adcock and Co.)


Salted paper print | 20.8 x 15.4 cm (image) | RCIN 2800008

Photograph of an exhibit of feathers and taxidermy shown at the 1851 Great Exhibition. The exhibit consists of a display case with feathers arranged in a symmetrical pattern. Specimens of bird taxidermy are located at the bottom of the case.

Beneath the photograph, the caption states 'Adcock & Co'. Based on the catalogue of the Great Exhibition, Adcock & Co. (exhibit 323, Main Avenue, West) displayed a 'Large collection of ostrich and other feathers, birds of Paradise...Court plumes, as used from the beginning of the present century. Specimens of crying ostrich marabout feathers and birds of Paradise, with variety of colours on the same feathers.'

This photograph is from Volume I (RCIN 2800000) of ' Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, 1851: Reports by the Juries on the Subjects in the Thirty Classes into which the Exhibition was Divided'. The incredibly successful Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, commonly known as the Great Exhibition, ran from May to October 1851. At the exhibition's conclusion, over 100 copies of the four volume 'Reports by the Juries' were distributed to foreign governments and notable participants. The reports consist of the juries' comments and assessments of the works displayed in the exhibition. The idea and decision to illustrate the reports with photographs is attributed to Prince Albert (1819-61).

  • Creator(s)

    Claude-Marie Ferrier (1811-89) (photographer)

  • 20.8 x 15.4 cm (image)

  • 'Collection of Feathers'

  • Presented to Queen Victoria

  • Subject(s)
    • Natural Sciences & Mathematics
      • Zoology
        • Animal physiology
          • Feathers
        • Animals
          • Birds