Magazine article The Spectator

Holyday Sights

Magazine article The Spectator

Holyday Sights

Article excerpt

1842

The schools have let loose their swarms of boys and girls; who throng the thoroughfares of the metropolis, eager for sight-seeing. This, then, is a proper time to enumerate the different exhibitions that attract those in search of amusement or instruction out of doors.

The Chinese Collection at Hyde Park Corner claims the first place, both on account of the present interest of the subject and the comprehensive and curious variety of objects, all of Chinese production, assembled in that vast saloon. As a mere sight, the coup d'oeil is magnificent, especially when lighted up: the feast of lanterns could hardly display a greater variety of these fanciful articles, from the commonest sort to the imperial lantern ten feet high, bedecked with tassels, beadwork, and gay colours. These dangle from the ceiling, while the walls are lined with glass cases containing groups of Chinese, the figures life-size and modelled from individuals, attired in the costumes of different classes, and engaged in their various pursuits - a silk-mercer's shop with customers, a party of Mandarins, ladies taking tea and smoking, priests and soldiers, itinerant workmen, a gentleman in his sedan, and a company of actors: there is also a room fitted up in the Chinese style. Innumerable paintings, of exquisite finish, cover the walls; and specimens of almost every article of manufacture, with a number of natural productions, are arranged in cases. Several hours may be profitably spent in examining this extensive and unique collection; which it cost the proprietor many years and thousands of pounds to get together. …

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