The first trophy we meet on our way, after passing in front of the middle fountain, is divided between France and England, for the first half is occupied by M. Leroy, the clockmaker known by all visitors to the Palais-Royal. A splendid Renaissance-style clock in gilt bronze and porcelain occupies the top; other clocks for the salon and for travel bear witness to the skill of this maker. Colonel Colt of America, the inventor of the Patent Revolving Breeched Fire-Arms, has displayed his wares in the second part of this showcase. Two of his guns are attached to small chains for the visitor to examine, while others are arranged in two display cases. This pistol is intended to replace the ordinary revolver, because although it has only one barrel, it is constructed in such a way that it can fire up to six shots successively without needing to reload.
In front of it were placed some late bronzes by M. Raingo, of Paris, a fireplace set, two candelabras and a basket of flowers. Next to these bronzes, a beautiful group in natural size, made of galvanised copper, will catch the eye. It represents Amalthée with her goat, is due to M. Julien and is worth 6,000 francs. A Dutch pulpit in carved wood is behind it and is distinguished by the finish of the sculpture. The second trophy next to Mr. Colt has only been erected in the last few days, and is not yet finished (end of August). It will be made up of the silver and silverware of Mr. Meyer, of Paris. Amongst other things, there are already three snuffboxes decorated with the cipher of the Emperor Napoleon, in diamond, and ordered by His Majesty.
Opposite is a fine bronze group by Elkington, Mason and Co. of London, representing Queen Boadicea and her children, sculpted by Mr. John Thomas.
The first English trophy is that of the city of Wolverhampton. It exhibits trays, baskets, half-baths, utensils of all kinds, and other objects of sheet metal and varnished tin, of very good taste and irreproachable workmanship and solidity. Opposite is a trophy of the house of Elkington, Mason and Co., of London, consisting of a mantelpiece, ornamented with bronze bas-reliefs, representing scenes from Shakspeare, and supported by two allegorical figures, Tragedy and Comedy. A beautiful mirror surmounts the mantel, and the middle is adorned with the bust of the great British stove. The busts of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of the French adorn the ends of the trophy.
Bradford and Halifax have exhibited, in the next window, their woollen and colonial fabrics, famous for their good quality and distinguished by their design. On both sides are carpets of various subjects.
Opposite is a terracotta altar of very good workmanship, priced at 2000 fr. At the back and on the left hand side is a beautiful bronze statue of St. John the Baptist in natural size, sculpted by M. Barre.
Returning to the trophies, we find Birmingham where Messrs Jennens and Bettingen, the Queen's makers, have displayed some delightful papier-mâché objects. Tables, chairs, toilets, boxes, all of superior workmanship and exquisite taste.
Timothy Smith and Sons occupy the other half of the trophy with objects gilded by a new process. Lamps, church candlesticks and chandeliers fill their display case and the top of the trophy.
In front of the trophy there is a very ingenious composing machine for printers, invented by M. Delcambre. A keyboard is placed in front of the composer, who has only to play the key corresponding to the letter, and the latter is placed far away in a small box, and thus one composes with incredible speed. Another mechanism on the left hand side of this keyboard is used to decompose, i.e. to put all the same letters back together and destroy the composition. Such a composing machine is said to be in the Emperor's cabinet.
Dalglish Falconer and Co, of Glasgow, have arranged their beautiful printed muslins and cambric in the following trophy, arranged with great taste.
Opposite them stands the trophy of the English Navy. On the top and in the middle are large anchors, rings, iron pillars, etc., compasses, lanterns and lanterns of ships, ropes, canvas and all the objects used in the navy. Models of ships by Mr. Russel in London are arranged below, and, at the bottom, a very fine model of an oscillating steam engine, of the force of 500 horsepower, put into Her Majesty's steamer the Sphynx, by Mr. Penn at Greenwich.
Next to it on the left hand is a model of Mr. Walker's Bishop-Rock Lighthouses in London, and other models of lighthouses and navigational appliances. On the right hand side are complete apparatus for divers, who go down into the sea, either to visit the sides of a ship, or for any other service: the thick-soled boots with a double lead sole and tied above the ankles, the trousers and full garment made waterproof by rubber, the pot-shaped helmet screwed to the neck, covering the whole head, and pierced with holes lined with crystal blades. Next to it are two machines for blowing air through a rubber hose.
To the right of this trophy is a small and very elegant canoe for four persons, 22 feet 2 inches long and 4 feet 4 inches wide, made of wood, with a wooden frame. 4. p. wide, made by Messrs. Stearle and Sons in London, manufacturers of the Queen's and Corporation's canoes for the City of London, and above it a small racing canoe of the same manufacturers, to carry one person, 31 p. 4 p. long and 1 foot 3 p. wide, weighing only 35 pounds.
The porcelains of the famous Copeland House, of London, occupy the next trophy. The speciality of this house is groups, statuettes, vases, etc., executed in marble porcelain, which differs from French biscuit by a more considerable hardness and by a slightly greenish tint.
On the top, a huge vase with a pink background and white arabesques; two busts, on both sides, represent O'Connell and Robert Peel. Further down and in the middle, Sapho by Theed (32 inches high) after the original belonging to the Queen, priced at 519 fr. Next to it and on the left hand, a nice group of a man giving grapes to a child, and, on the right hand, Paul and Virginia by Cumberworth, worth 70 fr.
On the bottom, one will have already noticed Mr. Foley's beautiful group, Ino and Bacchus after the original, belonging to Lord Ellesmore (price 416 fr.). Among the small statuettes on the bottom, the one of Napoleon III should be noted. On the left side of the display, there is, at the top, the three Graces supporting a basket for fruits and flowers. A very nice painting on porcelain will also attract attention, as well as a small bust of Napoleon I.
Opposite is a collection of astronomical instruments from the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, namely: the model of the same size of the meridian circle; on the left hand the model of the apparatus for lifting this meridian circle (1/4 size). On both sides of the large model, the south and north collimators of the meridian circle have been placed; at the back and behind, the south collimator; the half-size model of the apparatus used at the same observatory to make observations by reflection on Mercury; between this apparatus and the south collimator, the horizontal half-size projection of the meridian circle showing the system adopted for illuminating the wires, the direction of the galvanic wires, etc. Behind it is a telescope directed along the axis of the meridian circle, pointing at the collimator, intended to check the exact cylindricity of the trunnions.
The next trophy is filled with porcelain from the houses of Mr Rose in the Earl of Shropshire and Mr Danielle in London. Amongst the beautiful services, the turquoise blue one is of great beauty. On the front and on the right hand side, one will notice the exact copy of the plates which were used by Their Majesties the Emperor and the Empress of France, at their visit in London. Still in this display case is a very elegant rose-coloured dessert service by Barry, and some enamels from the famous Royal Manufactory of Worcester.
Opposite, a very elegant piece of furniture, made of rosewood, decorated with a beautiful mirror and porcelain points, was recently placed on display by Messrs. Jackson and Graham, suppliers to the Queen in London. Next to this piece of furniture is a very fine oak bookcase, by Messrs. Holland and Sons, against which a wardrobe is leaning.
Next to it, Manchester displays its famous cotton fabrics with prices which are surprisingly cheap for such well-conditioned fabrics.
Opposite is a fine cast-iron statue, the Eagle Slayer, by Mr. Bell, cast by the Coalbrookdale Ironworks Company.
We suggest that the visitor should now examine the beautiful English candelabra, placed not far away. This beautiful crystal candelabra, sixteen feet high, excites the admiration of visitors by the simplicity and severity of its forms. Its base is sexagonal, while the shaft is octagonal and decorated with prismatic points. Two large branches and six smaller ones carry the candles. The top is decorated with a pointed minaret.
Returning to the trophies, we find that of the city of Sheffield, which has placed the finest samples of its mantels, on which are busts of the Queen and Prince Albert, after J. E. Jones, and pretty little vases, imitation of China. In the middle is a beautiful fireplace with paintings on iron, imitating porcelain. The busts of the Emperor and Empress of the French adorn the front mantels. A beautiful candelabra in front, carried by a graceful woman, is a perfect imitation of bronze, f replaced by cardboard-stone. Next to it is a fine iron door from the factory of Baily and Sons, London.
Let us look at the last English trophy, before we see the large and beautiful mirror which we have already mentioned and which stands behind the two objects we have just seen. These are the remarkable canvases and fine embroideries of Ireland.
Let us return to the large glass on display by the Saint-Gobain glass factory, which melted all the glass used in the various French lighthouses on display. This glass, of remarkable purity, is no less than 5 m. 37 c. in height and 3 m. 36 c. in width, and, consequently, 18 m. 04 c. in area. Its thickness is 12 to 13 millimetres.
The famous piano manufacturer, Mr. Erard, has exhibited, behind this glass, a very elegant piano, whose body recalls the most delightful designs of the Louis XV period and whose sound can compete in sonority with that of salon organs. A harp, of the same manufacture, is next to it. In front of these instruments, a cast iron fountain will stop the visitor for a moment by its simplicity and the good taste that distinguishes it. Opposite this fountain and at the two ends of the transept are two lighthouses of different nationality and construction. The one on the left is a first-rate dioptric lighthouse, with fixed light and catadioptric zones, made by Messrs Chance in Birmingham. The other French lighthouse is dioptric and revolving, like the government one we saw at the beginning; two smaller lighthouses of the same kind are next to it.
©Promenades dans l'exposition de 1855