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United Kingdom Exhibition: "Georgian Exotic Creatures" at the Royal Pavilion Brighton

Discussion in 'Events & Meetups' started by Tim May, 9 Oct 2015.

  1. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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  2. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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  3. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I visited the Royal Pavilion at Brighton on Saturday; the “Exotic Creatures” exhibition is actually very small so doesn’t take long to see.

    I particularly liked the following:-

    • A small bronze statue of an Indian rhinoceros dating from the eighteenth century. This is believed to be modelled from “Clara” the Indian rhino that arrived in Holland in 1741, was exhibited in various European cities and eventually died in London in 1758.

    • A painting depicting three lion x tiger cubs, born 24th October 1824 in a travelling menagerie whilst it was at Windsor. The parents of these hybrid cubs subsequently produced five more litters of ligers between 1825 and 1833. Incidentally details of all six of these hybrid litters are supplied in “A Handbook to the Carnivora” (Richard Lydekker. 1896).

    • The well-known painting by the famous animal artist Agasse depicting the giraffe belonging to King George IV. (This picture was on loan to the Zoological Society of London for years and used to hang in the ZSL offices at London Zoo where I saw it many times; it was long while since I saw it last, though, so I was pleased to see it again.)

    Generally the exhibition appeared to be anti-zoo. Times change; I am sure that, judged by today’s standard, ZooChatters would find many aspects of early menageries unacceptable. Nevertheless, I would have expected the exhibition to have been more objective and not make the sweeping statement that early animal collections were “desperately inadequate, inhumane and cruel”.
     
  4. sooty mangabey

    sooty mangabey Well-Known Member

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    How small is "very small", Tim? Is there much more than the items you list on display? And are there any publications associated with the exhibition? It's only half an hour away for me, but I'm debating whether it's worth the horror of a trip into Brighton (for those unfamiliar with Sussex's largest town, imagine a dystopian vision of a lobotomised world in which "retail opportunities" and cheap alcohol are all that remain).
     
  5. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The exhibition really is very small; it only took me about fifteen minutes to see everything on display (although I did return later to have yet another look at the three items I specifically mentioned in my earlier post). There were various other items on show but, apart from these three, nothing that greatly interested me.

    There is a small leaflet on sale describing the exhibition but no detailed publications are available for purchase.

    For someone such as yourself, “Sooty”, who lives relatively close then I suggest a visit is worthwhile provided you don’t expect too much but I certainly wouldn’t recommend anybody making a long journey specifically to see this exhibition (unless, perhaps, they wanted to combine it with a visit to Brighton Aquarium and / or the Booth Natural History Museum).
     
  6. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for your interesting review, Tim.

    Is it known what kind of giraffe King George had and/or where it was from in Africa? Did it live in the current giraffe house at the London Zoo or did it predate that?
     
  7. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thanks, David.

    The giraffe belonging to King George IV was a Nubian giraffe; this animal was kept at Windsor Park, not London Zoo.

    King George’s giraffe, the first in England, arrived in 1827 nine years before London Zoo acquired its first giraffes.
     
  8. dean

    dean Well-Known Member

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    I visited this in December it was interesting, but as Tim said very small only one room the write up mentions how zoos are controversial so draw your own conclusion. It did have a proviso to say animals aren't kept like this today, and the displays might concern some people to paraphrase. I may have a few photos if I can find them.
     
  9. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    On my visit, it was made very clear to visitors that photography was not allowed so if you did take some photographs it would be interesting to see them please.
     
  10. dean

    dean Well-Known Member

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    Your correct Tim I didn't have any photos, but the strange thing is I was sure I HAD taken some. very odd.
    All i have somewhere is the card flyer in the form of an old hand bill, given to us with the pavilion ticket.
     
  11. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thanks for confirming this.

    It is a shame that you didn’t take any photos but I’m not surprised; on my visit the “no photography” rule was being stringently enforced (not only in the “Exotic Creatures” exhibition but throughout the whole Royal Pavilion).