THE FINE ARTS.
M. Marius Vachon wrote in the newspaper "La France" the following lines which seem to us to contain a very sensible judgement of the English genre.
"When one goes through the English section of the fine arts, the mind is immediately struck by a singular fact which does not occur elsewhere in such an obvious manner: it is "particularism.
"The influence of no master seems to have created that general current which we observe in every school, a current which, while leaving to each his spontaneity of impression, his individual originality, imposes on the group a special aesthetic, the influence of which is manifested by an original similarity of process, form and conception. It is incontestable, however, that there is in all the productions of English art, we dare not write school, a general stamp which does not allow uncertainty as to the nationality of their author. But, apart from a few exceptions of copyists, of servile or unintelligent imitators, whose ponderous and irresolute spirit can only be applied to this easy profession, each artist instinctively follows the impulse of that original, impulsive, inventive and daring temperament which characterises, in such a high degree, the Anglo-Norman race.
"It is this independence of character, this mobility of mind and feeling, which gives to the English physiognomy that stamp of vivacity, of unexpectedness, of piquant fantasy, of picturesque and naive simplicity, that singular and indefinable charm which so strongly pleases and invincibly attracts to them. We find all these qualities in their artistic works. There is often exaggeration, eccentricity even, and the aim is sometimes exceeded; but one feels easily inclined to indulge these errors and defects, in consideration of the indisputable and serious qualities which the works reveal.
We have taken pleasure, before expressing our own feelings, in quoting these lines, which fit in so well with our feelings, and also, we believe, with those of the public.
A painting in the first room which attracts many visitors is that of Mr. Crofts (No. 58 in the catalogue), entitled: - The Morning of the Battle of Waterloo.
It represents in a very real way what war is like, what the life of a soldier is like; it is not idealised, but it is not of an exaggerated realism, it is simply true.
The Emperor, seated on a peasant's chair, his left elbow resting on a small white wooden table, his finger fixed on a map, is listening to a peasant who is informing him; the Emperor's feet are resting on a bit of straw, next to him a meagre campfire is burning.
All around, soldiers of the guard; some lying on the ground are still dozing; others are waking up and getting up; the tired air of the soldier who is waking up from his heavy sleep, the slight disorder of the uniform, the folds that crumple the sheet, all this is exactly and carefully rendered.
In the distance, we can see the English patrol boats facing our dragoons. Further on, fires; on the right, on the other side of the road, French troops await orders.
On the ground, half in a ditch, the corpse of an English soldier.
The Point of Jerbourg (n° 27), by Mr Brett, pleases us very much as a composition and as a colouring, there is a very nice effect of the sea.
We also like very much the large rocks of the same artist, Mount's bey (n° 8); these large split blocks, with their moss, their grasses of various colours and their hues varying with the day, are very lively.
The Sailor's Wedding (No. 189), by Mr. Morris, is very grey, very grey; but the idea, both elegiac and philosophical, is well rendered.
A merry sailor, giving his arm to his young bride, follows the beach to return to his home; he dances, and the people of the wedding party who follow him, sailors too, dance like him.
However, the sea is boiling and the irritated wave is expiring threateningly at the feet of these good people who do not care. Are sailors afraid?
Alone, the young wife is a little moved and, secretly, with a little reassured eye, she looks at the sea and seems to say: "I hope that one day you will not take my happiness away from me!
Sir Francis Grant, President of the Royal Academy of Arts, is a portraitist of great and ancient fame. The Cottesmore Hunt which he exhibited at the Champ de Mars is reminiscent of his Melton Hunt and especially of his Rendezvous for Her Majesty's Hunting, exhibited at the Academy in 1837, which brought together in its frame forty-six portraits of famous sportsmen. The Fine Arts Gallery, in addition to an excellent portrait of Lord Gough, has a large painting by Sir Francis Grant of His Royal Highness. A. R. the Duke of Cambridge at the Battle of the Alma.
Mr. Barnard's Saturday Night in London (No. 19) is a picture to be seen out of curiosity, especially if one is ignorant of London and English life.
Mistress Butter, exhibits a military painting: The Return of Inkermann (No. 30), there are some very studied heads of wounded.
Daniel in the Lion's Den, by M. Rivière (No. 232), is very striking; there is, indeed, a rather curious contrast of light.
The Apothecary, by M. Marcks (No. 161), is a very remarkable composition in terms of conception and execution. The figure is well rendered, and the painter has had the good fortune to capture completely the pose of immobility and the fixity of gaze of the man who measures drop by drop the dose of liquid that should be introduced into the potion he is preparing.
Mr. Storey's Meditation (no. 247) is an amusing genre painting. Several people, men and women, are gathered in the room of a sick woman and are busy talking about their neighbours while drinking tea.
The poses, the mischievous glances, the confidences made in low voices, all this is indicated; when you stare at the picture for a moment, it seems to you that the characters are alive, you see them move, you hear them speak.
While they are busy chatting, a gentleman and a lady enter, - the very people they are slandering, - they do not even notice their entrance.
Mr. Ward exhibits a historical painting: Lady Russell and Charles II (No. 255), it is a serious painting, though a little coloured; Lady Russell's anxious expression is moving.
The courtyard of a Coptic house (n° 144) this is a painting apart; the author, Mr. Lewis, wanted to do some colouring and he succeeded, let us say it; very curious this courtyard where everyone, people and animals, live in common. If you want to do colour, choose an oriental subject.
Mr. Levis has understood this; so we find another painting by him, the Noon Meal (no. 146), which is also borrowed from the countries of the sun.
Oriental people are crouching around a table literally laden with fruit of all kinds: peaches, melons, grapes, etc., etc.; naturally, the artist has chosen the fruit whose bright colours were to lend themselves most to contrast; but if each object taken in isolation seems very well thought out and very successful, the whole forms a very gaudy whole which is rather tiring to the eye.
Here are two paintings by Mr. Millais which attract the visitor's attention.
First, In the Mountains of Scotland (No. 174); a very well thought-out landscape, rendered with much happiness; nature, one might say, is to some extent, in countries like Scotland, the collaborator of artists, in that she provides them with fully conceived pictures at every step; no doubt, but the execution is so difficult!
Mr. Millais has rendered well the tall grass, the marshes after the rain; in one corner of the picture the rainbow announces that the storm is over; indeed the sky is clearing, and in the background, far in the distance, the beautiful mountains of Scotland are finally freeing themselves from the clouds which have been covering them.
The other painting by Mr Millais is interesting from a historical point of view. It depicts (No. 173) a Royal Guard of the Tower of London, with his red suit, strawberry and hat. A beautiful painting which was difficult to render.
Mr. Landseer has painted a striking picture, at the bottom of which he has written: Man proposes and God disposes.
This painting (no. 128) represents one of those terrible scenes which must all too often take place in the polar seas.
A mast, with a pavilion morgue - all that remains, alas! of a sunken vessel - emerges from the middle of several blocks of ice welded together by the cold.
Two polar bears crawl on these ice cubes, and one of them pulls with its claws the flap of cloth.
All around is a dark atmosphere and loneliness everywhere.
Mr. Poynter's Catapult (No. 218) is very much in evidence. It is quite ancient history, but with such subjects one is sure to always have a number of spectators in front of one's painting, enchanted - and this is quite understandable - to see instruments of war from the past whose mechanism is not always well understood in books.
The subject is moreover very accurately and very wisely treated. The frame of the catapult explains its composition very well, and the heavy ram which is to be thrown against the besieged walls can be seen perfectly.
The same Mr. Poynter exhibits (n° 216) under the title: Israel in Egypt, a painting which is a delight to colour lovers.
The painter had a lot of fun with the blazing sun of Egypt, with those charred walls, those black heads and that blue sky. Given this background, he painted a gigantic sphinx in the background on a huge chariot pulled by the Israelites.
The heads are very studied and the painting deserves the daily praise it receives from the crowd.
Mistress Ward exhibits (No. 259) an absolutely charming picture, both as subject and as painting.
The Princess Charlotte of Wales is on a walk with her governess. A poor woman with a wounded hand is presented to her.
The young princess immediately escapes and, tearing her handkerchief, binds the poor woman's wound.
We repeat, this is a charming painting.
Le Travail aimé (No. 202); in this painting M. Perugini has depicted a lovely young girl busy arranging flowers in a vase. It is painted so delicately that it looks like a pastel.
The Last Assembly of Invalids at Chelsea Hospital, by Mr. Herkomer (20), is a true masterpiece. It is necessary to observe one by one all these magnificent heads, all these physiognomies so expressive and so happily rendered; the naturalness of the poses, this feeling of sadness which never leaves the old men, but which, on the physiognomy of each one of them, takes a different expression^ is most happily studied, understood and rendered.
From the point of view of painting itself, this picture reveals a superior talent.
WATERCOLOURS, DRAWINGS, SCULPTURE, ENGRAVING, ETC.
We shall dwell less at length on this second part of the fine arts.
The English artists have their own way of treating watercolours; it is a charming way, but melancholy to the extreme.
See Mrs. Allingham's watercolour: - Unable to Work (No. 3).
A poorly dressed old man is sitting on a bench under the trees; everything in his attitude, the languidness of his gaze, the position of his arms, indicates sadness and dejection.
He is in the shadows; one feels that, ashamed of not being able to work, he does not want to be seen. Through a clearing you see the day, and the day shows you the village in motion, everyone moving, coming and going, working... the poor old man looks at this and you can feel the tears coming to him... he can do nothing more, he is too old.
M. Gilbert has done his Desdemona (n° 49) very well, appearing before the Doge and the Senate of Venice, with Othello and Brabantio.
Another watercolour by him, The Guide (No. 50), is also very agreeable.
Mr. J. Macbeth exhibits Sunday Evening in the Chelsea Hospice Gardens, No. 99; the subject is, as always, very well understood; two old men meet in the lane, one leaning on his daughter's arm; they greet each other melancholy, while two paces away a horse-guard is chatting in a low voice with a girl.
Let us also note Le danger dans le désert (n°61), by M. Hoog.
We will only mention for the record an enormous quantity of drawings and architectural models, as well as copper and steel engravings. The praise for English engraving is well deserved.
Let us turn to sculpture, which is treated in a superior manner. We have noticed, among the most beautiful busts, a marble by Mr. W. Brodie (No. 8), representing Her Majesty Queen Victoria. M. la reine Victoria.
The bust of Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales, by M. d'Epinay (No. 10), is particularly masterfully carved; the affability of the physiognomy and at the same time the great air of the princess have been very accurately rendered.
The Cupid taming a panther, by Mr. Simonds (No. 39), is a piece that is both nervous and melancholy; it is very well studied from the plastic point of view and very successful from the point of view of the play of physiognomies.
EDUCATION OF THE CHILD, PRIMARY EDUCATION, ADULT EDUCATION.
Before entering the Champ de Mars palace, a few words on the method which governed the installation of the English exhibition.
The space given to England has been divided into three equal parts, by means of two longitudinal aisles which isolate the groups.
You only have to follow one aisle to the end, come back through the next one and go back through the third one; the whole English exhibition will have passed before your eyes.
There is no room for error, as a velum, stretched across the aisles, indicates the nature of the groups.
The first transverse aisle will lead you to the machinery gallery, and the annexes are next to it.
The first aisle includes the liberal arts; the second, porcelain, crystal, gold and bronze, furniture, clothing, weapons; the third, candles, soap, chemicals, manufactured goods, etc.
It is known that the exhibition was the object of the special solicitude of the Prince of Wales and his devoted collaborator, Mr. Philipp Cunliffe Owen, curator of the English section.
The Prince of Wales, who wished to have an off-line pavilion for himself and the Princess in the exhibition itself, did not cease to express how much he wanted the exhibition to succeed, while at the same time passing up no opportunity to affirm his affectionate feelings for France.
We are pleased to recall here the speech he made in the early days of the Exhibition:
"I am very much at ease, gentlemen, to see you assembled here tonight, in a country and in a city which have always welcomed the English in the most hospitable manner, and to think that, although not many years ago there was a time when we were not as friendly as we are today, that time is well past and forgotten.
"The jealousy which was the cause of that former animosity has disappeared, I am sure, for ever; and I remain convinced that the cordial understanding which exists between this country and ours is not one that changes.
"Before I sit down, I ask your permission to ask you to fill your glasses and to respond to a toast which I know you will receive with the most complete cordiality, by drinking with me to the French government.
"It is with real pleasure that I come to thank the French nation, both in my own name and in the name of the British Royal Commission, for all that they have done, and I have the honour to ask you, Commissioner-General Krantz, who are with me, to accept my thanks as a public testimony to the gracious and courteous manner in which you have assisted us.
"I can say that I have never approached you for anything without finding you ready to grant me what was possible, and to facilitate the task I was pursuing.
"Today, it can be said in advance that the Universal Exhibition of 1878 will be a great success; that is why you will allow me to say, and to say to all France, that the prosperity of this country and that of Great Britain are equally interested in it, and that the cordial participation which we have given you, in the triumph of industry and the arts, in this peaceful struggle, is of the utmost importance for our two nations and for the whole world.
"The part we have taken in this International Exhibition is the best mark of sympathy we can give to the French people, to whom we owe so much and whom I love with all my heart, and I hope that this Exhibition will remain in all memories as the emblem of work, concord and peace.
It is to the initiative and special care of the Prince of Wales that we are indebted for this magnificent Indian exhibition, so curious and so complete, and which attests the opulence of the EMPIRE OF INDIA.
Not content with co-operating largely by himself in exhibiting his own collection, more than sufficient to represent the various classes of Indian industrial art, he arranged for the Government of India to supplement this exhibition by sending a complete collection of the raw products of the country.
Importing dealers offered their co-operation and thus made the series of the principal artistic manufactures of India more brilliant.
Lord Litton, Viceroy and Governor-General of India, the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, Governor of Madras, S. Richard Temple, Governor of Bombay, etc., etc., directed the purchase of various pottery, metalwork, brasswork, wooden sculptures, Burmah pewter ware, Lucknow muslins, etc., etc., etc.
Finally, excited by this example, the Maharajah of Kasmir, the Maharajah of Patiala, the rajahs of Jindar, of Nabha, declared themselves ready to take part in the exhibition.
Hence the astonishing splendour of this exhibition, which alone occupies the whole of the right half of the Jena Gallery.
A few words now about the Honourable Mr. Cunliffe Owen:
He was born in 1828, on June 8th. His father was a naval captain, and he himself took up that profession; indeed we find him a naval cadet in 1840.
Health reasons forced him to retire; he had served barely five years.
In 1854 he was attached to Malborough Palace, where the collections for the famous South Kensington Museum were being assembled; as soon as the Museum was established, he was naturally attached to it, until he became its director, which happened in 1874. He replaced Sir Henry Cola, who was retiring after fifty years of administrative service. In the same year he was awarded the Order of the Bath.
In the meantime, Mr. F. Cunliffe Owen had been a member of the English commission at our Exhibition of 1855, director of the foreign section at the London Exhibition of 1862, assistant executive commissioner at the Paris Exhibition of 1867, and finally secretary of the English commission presided over by H.H. the Prince of Wales, at the Vienna Exhibition of 1873.
He was then appointed Commissioner General at the Philadelphia Exhibition, but soon resigned and took over the direction of the South-Kensington Museum, which owes so much to his initiative and unremitting efforts.
Finally, in January 1877, Her Majesty the Queen appointed him Secretary of the English Commission for the Universal Exhibition of 1878.
THE TEMPLE OF JERUSALEM.
The first thing that strikes the visitor entering the great square of the English exhibition is a reduction of the tabernacle of Israel in the desert. This plan, executed by Pastor Mathieu, of Mulhouse, is of the most scrupulous accuracy.
All the parts of the temple are movable; the ark of the covenant, which is of solid gold, is movable; the arrangement of the various enclosures, completely in accordance with tradition, is represented with astonishing perfection. It is a masterpiece of patience.
THE ORPHANAGE OF DOCTOR BARNADO
Another miniature plan; the one we have just mentioned was curious; this one is interesting to the last point.
It represents an orphanage founded by Doctor Barnabo, with the aim of taking in orphaned and abandoned girls.
It consists at present of about thirty small houses isolated from each other and placed on the sides of an immense rectangular plain.
In each house, fourteen girls live under the direction of a lady who takes the name of mother, and who lives with them as a mother with her daughters, that is to say who teaches them family life.
There is a chapel in the middle of the establishment; it has no appointed priest; any minister, of whatever denomination, may speak there.
Is this not the village-school realized?
The girls receive a graduated education, according to the aptitudes they show. When the age comes for them to leave home, they are placed in
THE BIBLICAL SOCIETY.
Since we begin with things curious, singular, or interesting in various ways, let us at once examine the showcase of the Bible Society, British and foreign.
This Society is engaged in religious propaganda, but with charming modesty and discretion.
In boxes fixed in several places to the plinth of the window, miniature pamphlets containing edifying stories have been placed.
On a table, the Gospels, and above them, the sign: "Take it, it's free".
The origin of the society dates back to 1802, and the promoter of its foundation was Pastor Charles, from Bala, Wales.
Today the parent society has 4,496 auxiliary societies in England alone and 120 in the colonies. Propagating the Bible, preaching love of neighbour and the practice of charity to men, is the work of these lay people who voluntarily serve as auxiliaries to missions.
The Society has had the Bible translated into 215 languages.
Do you want to have an idea of the expenses that this propaganda causes to the Society?
In 1803, it spent 11,407 fr. 70'c. to distribute 8,000 copies; in 1876, it spent 3,310,213 fr. 10, for 2,670,742 copies; and, in 1877, 3,746,647 fr. 60, for the distribution of 2,943,397 copies.
Last detail: - in the theatre of the Eastern War, the company distributed 160,012 copies.
Let us now begin our visit and proceed methodically, following the numerical order of each class.
CHILD'S EDUCATION, PRIMARY EDUCATION, ADULT EDUCATION, HIGHER EDUCATION.
In England, the education of the child is a great concern; not only do we wish to train his intelligence, develop his faculties and adorn his mind, but we also wish to train and develop the body; we would not suffer instruction and education to be acquired at the expense of the constitution.
There are several specimens of school tables and benches at the Exhibition; we admired how they are arranged to support the child and not only to prevent him, but above all to prevent him from assuming an unhygienic position himself.
At the same time, the greatest possible savings are sought.
Mr. Hammer seems to have succeeded in solving all these problems.
His benches and tables made of Georgian fir are attached to each other.
The table can be raised or lowered at will by means of a spring, depending on whether you want to read or write.
The bar of the bench is mobile. When the time comes for the oral lesson, and the lecturer is placed behind the pupil, the latter tilts the backrest, which is thus placed in the opposite direction to that which it previously occupied.
In some schools, where there is a desire to save dining tables, desks are lowered, two tables are brought together and an improvised refectory is created.
The whole of Mr Hammer's exhibition was bought from him, do you know who? from the Japanese. Mr. Ruchi-Rinichi, first class secretary of the Ministry of Public Education and the Imperial Council of State of Japan, acquired it.
In addition to the furniture, here are the various methods used to teach children to count; these are mobile balls of various colours rolling on rods and which the child assembles or divides at will.
There are also geographical dials by means of which the time of various countries is immediately calculated; thus the child will learn that when it is noon in London, it is one o'clock in St. Petersburg, etc., etc.
To help the child to determine the shape of objects, he is made to handle wooden blocks which represent the various geometrical shapes.
The class we are in is, as you can see, of great interest from a school point of view; there are even models of buildings for educational institutions.
Mr. Southre also exhibits games for teaching history and geography.
The Sunday school union, which won a medal in Vienna, exhibits maps, charts, and Bible subjects; Twining House exhibits a valuable book for children, Science Made Easy1 , which consists of a series of familiar talks.
We pass without transition from class 6 to class 8; we beg the reader not to impute the fact to an oversight on our part; the truth is that class 7, relating to secondary education, is missing from the English exhibition. This omission is deeply regrettable, especially when dealing with a subject as serious and of such general interest as education.
The first showcases which attract our attention are those of the South-Kensigton museum; they contain catalogues, objects reproduced in artificial ivory by means of electrotyping, coloured photographs, etc., etc.
The South-Kensington School was founded as a result of the English Exhibition of 1851, at which French industrial art showed a disturbing superiority to English trade.
Today, the English school has 16,480 pupils; but it does not seem to us that it has yet begun to fulfil the expectations placed upon it. Let us note that it has not wasted its time and that the rich and numerous collections it has amassed have enabled it in a relatively short time to provide England with a new museum.
Let us note again in this class an object of some curiosity; it is the universal calendar of Mr. Kesselmeyer, of Manchester.
PRINTING, BOOKS AND STATIONERY.
There is no country in which the book trade has reached a greater degree of prosperity than in England. This success is justified by the care lavished on the manufacture of books: paper, type, printing, and even cardboard, have all reached the highest degree of perfection. It is regrettable that the great London publishers, the Murrays, the Longmans, the Macmillans, the Nelsons, abstained and did not exhibit. In the absence of an individual exhibition, they could have grouped their volumes, as the American publishers have done, in a single library.
It is impossible to regret too much, - we repeat - the feeling which led these gentlemen to abstain.
The most interesting part of this exhibition is certainly that of the well-known newspaper: The Graphic.
Thanks to the intelligent care of Mr. G. Carter, representative of the Graphic in Paris, the public finds here a hospitality to which it is not accustomed. By means of partitions a relatively large room has been arranged, in the middle of which is a large oval table, surrounded by numerous seats.
On this table are placed the collections of the journal; not only can the public leaf through them conveniently, but they can also see the original drawings from which all the beautiful woodcuts that adorn the journal have been engraved. There is nothing more interesting to look at than these beautiful compositions by Herkomer, Small, Gregory, Green, Nash and so many other brilliant artists. It is easy to see how a publication which has given rise to such an artistic effort has had a decisive influence on the movement of renovation which everyone is seeing in English art. Mr. Thomas, one of the most famous wood engravers in England, deserves a truly exceptional distinction for the skilful direction he has given to the Graphie in its eight years of existence.
In other showcases, we notice Mr. Whymper's beautiful woodcuts, some very good photogravures, steel plates from the Art-Journal, published by Virtue, etchings from the Portfolio and religious propaganda books from the Sunday-Schools. But let us also note the window of Mr. Wetaker, who exhibits his monthly journal of English and foreign literature, the Bookseller; that of Mr. Blackvood, a classical bookseller; the two music publishers, Mr. Angener and Mr. Enoch; the latter has a very important house on the Boulevard des Italiens.
The Johnson House exhibits catalogues and official documents relating to all the exhibitions that have taken place since and including that of 1867.
Let us mention for the record a good number of specimens of chromolithography and let us arrive at typography:
The Typography Etching Company shows us very curious samples of prints, photographic relief and intaglio engravings, drawings and various plates.
Edward Stanford, of London, exhibits specimens of engraving and lithography applicable to maps; in class 16, the same house exhibits very remarkable geographical maps and engravings.
The amateurs of beautiful typography will not feel happy in front of the Reed, Stephenson, Spotiswood showcases; indeed, they will see there very beautiful English typefaces for printing.
In England, the perfection of type is probably due to the fact that all works, even the least valuable and least expensive, are printed with the greatest care, with beautiful letters and on beautiful paper, unlike what is done in our country for cheap editions.
Mr. Stephenson's display case shows specimens of remarkably well-pulled books; mention should also be made of Marcus Ward's display case, for his collection of effect bindings.
Mr. Routledge has a very interesting display case, showing the work done to esparto before it is reduced to paper; he exhibits two balls of pulp made from this material.
The rag had long since become insufficient in quantity for the manufacture of paper and a suitable substitute had to be found. We chose esparto grass, a kind of oakum that grows in Algeria in the manner of brambles.
In this class, two showcases should particularly attract attention. These are the Perry and Stephens showcases.
Stephens exhibits a whole series of inks that combine the three qualities of fluidity, colour and duration.
A very useful invention from this company is a special stain for parquet floors.
The first workman who comes along, provided he is accustomed to the use of metal or paper patterns, can decorate with this stain all kinds of parquet and woodwork; in a short time, a man can acquire sufficient experience to achieve the most satisfactory results.
The prepared parquet stains are much stronger and darker in colour than the ordinary stains, but by the addition of a little water lighter shades can always be obtained.
Stephens Flooring Stains are prepared to imitate oak, mahogany, satinwood, walnut, ebony, rosewood and cherry.
The colours for marquetry are: crimson, red, blue, green, yellow, purple, etc.
Specimens on display show the services provided by this invention.
The fluid writing inks are also of a superior quality.
The firm of Alexander Perie and Sons, perhaps one of the most important in the world, doing 25 millions of business a year, specializes in the manufacture of paper, registers of all kinds, trade papers, etc., and exhibits magnificent bond certificates.
It exhibits magnificent bond titles printed on its paper by Harding, of London.
One of its specialities is bookbinding; but a special kind of binding. Neither thread nor glue is used; the leaves are held together by metal wires. The operation is done by means of a special machine.
The precious nib from Leonardt, Birmingham, made according to a new system, with a small ball at the tip, is suitable for all hands and has the advantage of gliding quickly over the paper.
The Perry Company, also of Birmingham, - a company established with a capital of 12,500,000 francs, - presents an absolutely complete collection of iron nibs, nib holders, mechanical pencils, inkwells, etc., etc., etc.
Its weekly production is 40,000 large iron nibs.
The various types of nibs manufactured by this company are subdivided as follows - extra-fine, fine, medium and coarse. There are also nickel-plated nibs.
We should mention jetaline, a new ink for marking linen, and a new cardboard, the patent waterproof indissoluble card, which, because of its impermeability, is destined to be of great service in all respects.
In horticulture, it provides labels as strong as iron, and can be used to cover wheat; in the household, it can line carpets and keep out moisture; it can be used for packaging, and can be used for ducts and gutters. Finally, a whole house has been built with this cardboard. They even made a cistern.
A few steps away, we find an invention due to Mr. F. Barff, M. A., Professor of Chemistry at the Catholic University College and at the Royal Academy of Arts in London; the process invented has for object to preserve iron from rusting.
By means of superheated steam, the inventor produces a layer of black oxide on the metals which guarantees them absolutely against the bite of rust.
One can understand the exceptional importance of this beautiful discovery. From now on, it will be possible to preserve the iron structures of buildings, bridges, etc., and the iron will thus retain its solidity and become wear-resistant.
This process was awarded two silver medals.
DRAWING AND PLASTIC, PHOTOGRAPHY, MUSIC, GEOGRAPHY.
Class 11 includes samples and specimens of all kinds, stained glass, drawings, for decoration, wood carvings, etc., and everything that concerns industrial art.
Class 12 is that of photography; we must acknowledge first of all that the photographers show a great superiority there and that they obtain marvellous effects; they exhibited portraits of women and children of an unheard-of tenderness, of an extraordinary finish.
In the window of Mr. Baudoux, of Brighton, there are some very fine transparent views; one of them, among others, represents an alley shaded by tall trees and receding into the distance.
Robenson House has a charming candid photograph of an interior, an elderly woman sitting at the window sill, listening attentively to her old husband reading the Bible to her.
The Elliot and Fry house has an adorable little child sleeping on a pillow, it's steamy as hell.
Class 13 (Musical Instruments) contains 19 exhibitors; of the nineteen, thirteen are piano makers; we see little to report as a little-known innovation except the orchestrophone, a combination of the American organ and harmonium, by Mr. J. Hillier, and the harmony-angelote, a stringed instrument by Mr. J. C. Ward.
Class 14 is devoted to Medicine, Hygiene and Public Assistance, and naturally includes beds for the sick of all ages, as well as furniture to ease the suffering of the sick, and wheelchairs to transport them.
There is even a model - a very small one, for example - of an ambulance wagon.
There are also some very remarkable devices for deafness.
Class 15, - precision instruments, - is the home of all barometers, thermometers, microscopes, meteorological instruments, etc., etc.; note the universal tide machine by Mr. Legé, of London.
Class 16, - maps and geographical apparatus, - has only six exhibitors.
Among them we must note the maps and atlases of Messrs. Philipp and Sons, with their mappemondes which can be unfolded and folded up at will in the manner of Venetian lanterns; this must be very convenient for people who are going to give lessons in town.
FURNITURE AND ACCESSORIES.
English furniture is very curious to observe; irreproachable from the point of view of execution, the furniture of our neighbours always reaches the last degree of respectability and comfort.
One thing to be noticed is that for large pieces of furniture, the English upholsterer is transformed into a sort of architect; everything he makes takes on a monumental aspect.
The first object that catches the eye when one enters the furniture class is the beautiful boudoir-salon exhibited by Mr. Trollope.
The boudoir (or petit salon), of carved cedar wood, is an attempt to reproduce the style which prevailed in England during the first decade of Queen Anne's reign, and all the details have been studied, but not copied, from examples of decorative work of the time. The doorframe is in "rosso antico" movement, and the ceiling is in portable plaster. The panels painted on canvas represent scenes from the heroic-comic poem "The Abduction of the Hairpin," written by Alexander Pope in 1712, the eighth year of Queen Anne's reign, in which the customs and mores of the time are satirized in a pleasing manner.
The apotheosis of the Loop and its sidereal transformations will form the decoration of the ceiling. In these illustrations of Pope's charming poem, the costumes and accessories have been taken from models of the time; and the bust of the poet, copied from his tomb in Westminster Abbey, occupies the niche in the centre of the mantelpiece.
Now we shall mention at random the magnificent dining table of Messrs. Johnston and Co., their oak mantelpiece, their boudoir table; Mr. Watt's drawing-room mantelpiece, stepped in the old style and imitating the Japanese; Mr. James Schoolbred's great drawing-room interior, with its high and imposing carved woodwork.
As regards the more particularly comfortable, we shall mention a delightful little chair with castors for babies; thanks to the castors, the child goes wherever he pleases without running the slightest danger; when it is time for dinner, the little chair is screwed on to an ad hoc stool, and there is the child at table.
We will speak only for the record of the coquettish cradles with their white or blue satin linings, their curtains edged with swan feathers.
Let's get to the metal furniture. All those beds you see that sparkle like gold are, however, only varnished copper; the English do not gild, and the reason they give is that gold flakes, whereas varnished copper holds together and produces the effect of gold, and they are right.
See these beds, these armchairs, these bedrooms made entirely of yellow and red copper intermingled, and you will agree that the effect is marvellous.
The King of Spain bought for his palace at the English exhibition a superb five-branched lamp-post, always in varnished copper.
CRYSTALS AND GLASSWARE, CERAMICS, TAPESTRY.
The most remarkable productions seem to us to be those of Mr. Green and Mr. Webb, especially because of the good use they make of their crystals, of the skilful way in which they arrange them to achieve a greater reflection, a greater shimmer of light.
Let's not forget to mention an astonishing curiosity; it's a real piece of crystal furniture. Imagine a kind of buffet, with a tiered ogival top. On the platform of the sideboard, a vase flanked by two candelabras; above it, a large crystal plate; on each side, two superimposed crystal niches designed to hold flowers or trinkets.
Next to this piece of furniture is an armchair with a crystal frame, and at the feet of the armchair a large stool, also made of glass.
The head of the armchair is made of glass, even the nails that hold the fabric of the armchair.
Exhibitors : Messrs. Osler and Co. of London.
After the magnificent objects exhibited by the Brown-Wasthead company, the rest of the exhibition includes services, chandeliers, glasses, bottles and other products related to glassware.
There are quite a number of exhibitors in this class; there are twenty-eight.
Let us stop in front of the exhibition of the house of Minton Hollins and Co., whose speciality is the manufacture of glazed and unglazed encaustic tiles, simple tiles, majolica tiles in relief, earthenware fired under glaze, etc. This house exhibits, among other things, objects of art, such as the "Minton Hollins" collection, which is a very important part of the exhibition.
Amongst other objects, this company exhibits a painting forming a window with a majolica border, then a monumental porcelain fireplace in the old English style, i.e. Queen Anne style. All the subjects that adorn this fireplace are on earthenware and framed in earthenware.
The house of Mintons, a few steps away, exhibits some very nice products; one will particularly like its Palissy majolica, its Indian and Persian earthenware, and its hand-painted artistic tiles.
The exhibition of the Doulton house is also worth mentioning.
The Royal Porcelain Works Company and the Wedgewood Factory are also worth mentioning; the latter exhibits, in addition to the Portland Vase, some very curious Greek and Etruscan pottery.
Classes 21 and 22, carpets, tapestries and wallpapers, seem to us to be a little poor, and it seems to us that these industries need to work hard before they can compete.
We shall only mention the exhibition of the Royal Windsor Manufactory, with its Scenes of the Merrymakers, and Christ Letting the Little Children Come to Him, by Tapling.
A sincere tribute is due to the cutlery; the exhibitors are only five in number, but their superiority is unquestionable.
The products of Sheffield, the products of Rodgers and Sons, of Messrs. Brookes and Crookes are most remarkable.
The English article, for this part, has moreover its reputation made.
Let us move on to silverware; there, dazzling displays await the visitor.
Here is the house of Elkington and Co. Two men-at-arms, barded in silver, with shields on their chests and spears in their hands, stand guard on either side of the entrance door.
Of all the goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares, the most striking display is undoubtedly that of Messrs Elkington and Co.
We shall first mention, in this unique collection, the incomparable works of Mr. Morel-Ladeuil: the Helicon Vase, the Milton Shield and the Pilgrim Shield.
Let us first give a description of the Helicon Vase.
This marvellous work, executed in the style of the Italian Renaissance, consists of an elongated tray, containing in the centre, between two seated figures, an ovoid Vase, surmounted by a group of two geniuses, one of whom carries the Lyre of Apollo. On the body of the vase are two bas-reliefs representing the nine Muses; at the bottom of the handles are escutcheons bearing, in gold letters, the names of illustrious poets and composers.
On the pedestal are two large symbolic figures of Music and Poetry.
On the base of the pedestal are two bas-reliefs, one of which is occupied by Pegasus, carrying the genius of inspiration, the other by a hippogriphe ridden by the genius of imagination.
On the outer edge of the plateau are twelve bas-reliefs illustrating the different genres of Music and Poetry.
The work is entirely executed in silver and embossed steel.
To the right of this beautiful vase is Milton's Shield, executed by the same process and using the same materials in bas-reliefs representing the capital scenes of Milton's Paradise Lost.
On the left is the splendid Pilgrim's Shield, which the artist executed expressly for the Paris Exhibition. The subject is taken from John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, so incredibly famous in England. The artist had to make a choice which more or less sums up the general inspiration, among the innumerable scenes which abound in this curious work, and it is not the least of his merits to have succeeded in doing so. He has devoted the central medallion to the struggle of Chrétien (the pilgrim) against the monster Apollyon. M. Morel-Ladeuil has taken in the description given by Bunyan and the portraits he has drawn of the two champions, and, as far as the requirements of the plasticity allowed, he has been able to make a faithful reproduction: "The monster was hideous to behold," says Bunyan, "his body was covered with scales like a fish (which caused his presumption), he had wings like a dragon... and from his sides escaped the flame and smoke." Christian is clad in the armour with which Discretion, Piety, Charity and Prudence have presented him. The battle has come to that point where, despite his fiery dashes, which he could throw "thick as hail," the demon will receive the mortal blow.
ART BRONZES, CLOCKS, HEATING.
The class of art bronzes is represented by only four exhibitors; it has been observed that electroplating has done a great deal of harm to bronzes and embossed metals, because it makes it possible to give much cheaper objects that are less artistic, but which have as much effect as real bronze.
Fortunately, true enthusiasts will always stop at the beautiful artistic works, for example at the graceful hammered iron planter exhibited by Mr. Hadmann, of Birmingham, and at the remarkable products of Messrs. Singer and Sons; these gentlemen, in fact, exhibit, among other things, delightful hammered iron "rose water vases", embossed in silver, copper and pewter, as well as remarkable embossed copper portraits.
The watchmaking industry is represented by a considerable number of chronometers and watches of all kinds.
We can hardly see to mention anything but the Electric Clock of Mr. Riégo, of London, however, after the brilliant showcase of Mr. Bennet.
Here we are in the class of heating appliances; this class is, indeed, very interesting to study.
Let us look first at Mr. Abrahams' exhibit. Do you know what is special about it? A perfume-spreading lamp.
Here is an invention of Mr. Bacan's: it is a hot-water apparatus which heats buildings while ensuring their ventilation. The result is obtained by means of ducts installed in the walls.
Here is the Coal economiser Company, which has found a way of reducing the expenditure of fuel without reducing the amount of heat.
One cannot imagine the innumerable quantity of various appliances for the flat, for the kitchen, for heating, for ventilation, giving heat by gas, by hot air, by hot water, etc.
Let us add that all these devices are remarkable as well from the point of view of comfort as from the point of view of elegance.
PERFUMERY, LEATHER GOODS.
Here we come to a class which is of particular interest to ladies.
Perfumery is represented by only fourteen exhibitors; but they are enough to perfume the palace for several yards around; among the principal houses, we shall mention the house of Eugène Rimmel, which occupies the Pavilion de Flore in the British section.
The branch of this house, which is located in Paris, on the Boulevard des Italiens, is as well known and as sought after as the parent company, which was founded in London and which has managed to gain and keep its popularity there.
The Rimmel house exhibits double extracts of all the flowers; so much so that one would think one was in a greenhouse where all the flora of the world had been brought together. There are also eau de toilette, hair and skin preparations, complexion preparations, etc.
The Aromatic Ozonizer is a powder, a kind of sawdust from Australian pines, which purifies the atmosphere by the simple evaporation of its perfume.
Napoleon Price also exhibits concentrated flower essences, such as rose, reseda, lilac, jasmine; it is in its showcase that we find the concentrated perfume bouquets Queen Victoria, Princess of Wales, Guards, Club, etc., etc., and finally Lilium auratum.
The Japanese golden ray lily is universally renowned; it is the most beautiful of the lilies; it is from the calyx of this flower that Napoleon Price has extracted the delicious essence to which it has given the name Lilium auratum.
We will not give a long description of leather goods and tableware: the detail would require too much space, and a brochure would be needed to tell in detail the thousand and one objects that the English genius has invented for the convenience of the home and for the convenience of travellers.
The objects relating to the toilet seemed to us to be the most numerous.
In any case, you may be sure that in this class nothing has been left out which might be useful to a gentleman. There are even cases for sandwiches.
FABRICS, CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES, YARNS, WOOLS AND SILKS.
This part of the exhibition is certainly one to which the English nation attaches the greatest importance. Indeed, the working and making of fabrics is one of its great national industries.
The cotton industry has quadrupled in seventy-five years the population of Manchester, which is the chief centre of cotton cloth manufacture.
The Cotton Yarns and Fabrics class presents a wide variety of exhibits.
In a number of display cases the whole range of different kinds of cotton, even crochet cotton, is shown.
In others, plain and fancy muslins, towels, sheets and cotton blankets are displayed.
Behrens exhibits plain and cross velvets, ribbed velvets, moleskin, half-silk and cotton velvets; Christy and Sons, from London, exhibits blankets and bathrobes, gloves, and various samples of towels.
In the other showcases, one can see a large number of blankets, towels, sheets, plain and brocaded cotton satins, calico, toilet and table linen, furnishing and clothing fabrics, bed covers, etc., etc.
Linen is, as is well known, one of Ireland's great resources; English cloth has maintained its ancient reputation.
In class 31, we find the most varied products: oakum for caulking ships, lint for hospitals, all possible samples of yarns, table linen, linen and cotton damask, linen and batiste handkerchiefs, fabrics of the same type, table cloth, cloth for bed sheets, for men's shirts, tablecloths, towels, etc., etc.
Wool has given rise to many industries, the main centre of which is in Bradfort. It is from there that the best fabrics are produced, fabrics which, it must be said, can know no rivals.
In class 32 (worsted wool) we find all kinds of woolen yarns, black and coloured alpacas, fabrics for woollen garments, knitting yarns, raw wools, etc., etc.
Class 33 (carded wools) includes Scottish tweeds for men's and women's clothing, travelling shawls, cloth for clothes and trousers, serges, travelling blankets, ladies' shawls, woollen sheets, superfine sheets, flannels, etc., etc.
English silks are not the first on the market, but it is considered that the turnover of the English in this respect amounts to 200 million, which is a rather nice figure.
In this class, ladies can contemplate an immense quantity of silk reels of all colours.
They will also find scarves, wraps, fabrics for dresses, ties, etc., silk crepes, crepe veils, silk elastic fabrics, black silk fabrics, black velvet fabrics, woven and braced elastic fabrics for boots and shoes, etc., etc.
SHAWLS, LACE, TULLE, EMBROIDERY AND TRIMMINGS, HOSIERY, CLOTHING.
The shawls in this class (class 35) deserve attention, as they are imported from India.
There are only three exhibitors in this class, but one of them is called... the Maharajah of Kasmir.
After cashmere, lace, embroidery and tulle.
You can see real masterpieces passing before your eyes.
These are handmade Buckingham laces, exhibited by Mrs. de Rotschild.
Mr. Howell exhibits an imitation of the old lace called Houiton; he also exhibits a Malines lace alternating with Argentan stitch.
The Ladies Work Society, whose president is Her Royal Highness Princess Louise, Marquise of Lorne, exhibits, among other things, a Japanese design, on gold silk cloth, representing various graceful subjects with figures, birds and flowers.
The exhibition of hosiery, as it has been understood, will doubtless be very agreeable to daines, for it presents them with little more than the most graceful objects for their use.
From the point of view of general interest, one would have liked to see, next to the luxury hosiery, those large and solid fabrics which the English factories deliver to the English sailors and fishermen.
This thought should not prevent us from doing justice to the graciousness of the objects exhibited.
There are corsets that make you dream.
There are especially layettes which are delicious.
Class 38 includes clothing for both sexes.
Do not fail, we recommend, to examine the window of the tailor Middleman; you will see uniforms of academics, gowns of magistrates and lawyers, etc., etc., and chaperones as it is customary to wear them at the collation of degrees at the University of Edinburgh.
Once your curiosity is satisfied, examine carefully all the displays in the clothing class. Nothing is more interesting than to see how comfortable and sturdy the clothes of our neighbours across the Channel are.
Rubber clothes, waterproof suits or hats, that is what you meet at every step. The English have more foresight than we do, so they are better off.
The need and love of comfort, as well as the care for decorum, is revealed everywhere. Thus they have invented springs of flexible steel wire to roll up and preserve the shape of soft hats. Indeed, a soft hat with flabby edges is not presentable and not convenient.
As they do nothing by halves and it is not enough to measure the circumference of the body to be able to dress a man properly, an Irishman, Mr. Rieves, invented a mathematical instrument to measure the surface of the human body.
JEWELLERY, ARMS, TRAVEL.
Scottish jewellery is very popular and Mr. Aitchison's shop window is crowded.
Mr. Gibson exhibits diamond and gold jewellery; he has keyless watches, chronometers, chronographs.
Mr. Marshall has gold jewellery, inlaid with precious stones and pearls, and enamelled ornaments.
Finally, if you want Indian jewellery, you will find it at Mr. Witson's, in the Indian section.
Nineteen gunsmiths have exhibited; we are glad of the help they have been willing to give us, as there are very few guns at this exhibition, and enthusiasts find themselves rather disappointed.
The English armoury is very satisfactory. The guns they have on display are serious guns, well suited to the needs of the hunter.
Mr. Lewis has some Sniders that will tempt everyone.
One invention is a rifle that fires, or at least can fire, sixty shots a minute.
Inventor: Mr. Soper.
Class 41, the travel and camping class, is also absolutely remarkable.
The English, who love to travel and who do not allow their comfortable habits to be disturbed in any way, are better at organising travel than anyone else in the world.
Coat racks, baskets, travelling bags, tents, blankets, trunks, etc., etc., are all arranged in the most sensible way.
We have now reached the last class of the group, the bimbeloterie, i.e. the games.
Many games of patience, croquet games, etc., etc.
The games that we found most attractive were those of the "scientific toy and general novelty company"; because these games are intended to instruct the child while amusing him.
Thus, a small device is put in his hand with which he makes gas himself; he is given a small boat equipped with a real locomotive, he heats himself, manoeuvres himself and cleans his locomotive himself.
He learns without realising it, he has a lot of fun and without realising it he works for the future.
EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES, RAW AND PROCESSED PRODUCTS.
Class 43, the first of this group, includes products of mining and metallurgy.
First we see tools for carving wood and stone, tools for turners, plasterers, geologists, etc., then steel bars, tinplate, sheet metal of various kinds.
We then see worked iron, which is produced in various forms; the most curious that strikes us first is this one: - Casket mounts.
Needles, bands and wheel arms for velocipedes, railway equipment, gold beater's tools, cast iron, circular saws, pins, silver, copper, lead and arsenic ores, rock drilling machines, tin pipes, clays, steel wire, wire mesh, kitchen utensils, hairpins, coal, fish hooks, whetstones, lightning rods, iron cables, signal ropes, nickel and cobalt ores, etc. , all these things pass before your eyes, and you admire how much man today knows how to take advantage of the riches that nature has placed within his reach.
One detail to note: - among the exhibitors were the Earl of Grandville and the Marquis of Londonderry.
In class 44 (products of forestry and forest industries) only one exhibitor brought samples of polished panels of various woods for furniture and pianos.
Class 45 (hunting, fishing and gathering products, gear and implements) shows a complete collection of everything used for fishing, hooks, nets, landing nets, lines for sea and river fishing, etc., etc.
Class 46 (non-food agricultural products) includes Turkish tobacco leaves, Turkish tobacco cigarettes, palm kernels, coarse wool for making carpets, wool made from waste.
Class 47, with 87 exhibitors, is the class of chemical and pharmaceutical products.
It is understandable that we cannot give here the minute details of each showcase, we would have to write a complete course in chemistry; and, however instructive our account might be, the reader would undoubtedly be bored.
We shall limit ourselves to explaining that in the eighty-seven showcases, all the chemical and pharmaceutical products are found together and that they represent a turnover of more than 40 million.
England's reputation in all the details of domestic economy does not seem to be overrated. Comfort never loses its rights, even when luxury is far away1. Among other objects in this category are the soaps of Mr. R. S. Hudson, a chemical manufacturer at West Bromwich; their reputation is immense and well deserved; his dry soap extract in powder form seems to be as simple as it is inexpensive to use for all possible cleaning purposes.
Let us not leave chemicals without mentioning to brewers the preparations specially made for them by Mr. A. Boake and Co., Straffort, London, and intended either to clarify and preserve beer, or to disinfect casks, or to regenerate the former by preventing acidity, as well as the ingenious process by which this manufacturer places at the disposal of the most distant manufacturers the very waters of Burton, whose beer is renowned. Crystals, composed by him with the same salts contained in Burton's water, manage to give the beer a taste identical to that of the original beer.
Class 48 includes an industry which is now very widespread and very lucrative, but which has only acquired the great development we see today in a relatively short time.
We are talking about the printing of fabrics.
Printed fabrics are now in general use, and we have been told of a company that prints more than forty million metres of fabric per year.
Ashton & Co. has a very attractive collection of printed Indians on display. The printing of cloth is still a special industry in Manchester.
Various houses have exhibited samples of hangings, fabrics, wools, etc.
Surtle and Pearce, of London, have found an ingenious way of giving a visible specimen of their skill. It has taken charge of printing the flags of the various groups which divide the Exhibition.
Class 49, which closes this group, contains hides and skins.
The firm of Clark, Sons, and Marland has some very fine hearth rugs and other kinds made of sheepskins and goatskins.
We may also mention the maroquins of the house of Dred and Sons, the deer skins of Mr. Pullman, and the Russian leathers of Messrs. Wilson, Walker and Co.
Class 50 shows us the equipment and processes of mining and metallurgy.
First, there is the Broadbent and Sons machine, which is used to crush stone or pulverise ore. The force of this machine is truly frightening; one sees a cobble fall into its gears; one hears the cobble crackle horribly, and then the machine throws it back in small pieces less than a second later.
It goes without saying that it is driven by steam; the English, moreover, as we shall see, apply steam to everything, even to agriculture; on this point they are much more advanced than we are.
Here is the Brunton and Trier machine for drilling tunnels; the Bush and Soyres cast iron rolling mill, which forces sheet metal and tin into thin sheets.
If we turn to mechanical engineering, we find ourselves faced with a wonderful development and a difficult choice. So let us mention, somewhat at random, the asbestos-lined valves of John Dewrame and C°, London, which offer such real advantages of economy and safety in steam engines; the various samples in the Nettlefods showcase, Birmingham; pointed wood screws, pressure screws, machine screws, hooks, pins, rivets, steam grease nipple, open top, for tallow grease; differential crankshaft, Weston system, Parfitt mercury manometer; then water, gas, steam taps, etc. , from Messrs. Alley and Maclellan, of Glasgow, the only manufacturers of the water meter, known as the "Sentinel".
For blast furnaces, here are Lloyd's safety nozzles, which make it impossible for water to escape, as well as tubes, cupolas, and all the articles used by this industry; besides, reticulated and perforated bars for fireplaces, Dobson's patent, of Nottingham, specially constructed to give the air a more intense circulation and to obtain a perfect combustion