Category Archives: The Objects

Marmalade, Mechanical Birds, Machinery, Majolica…
In its simplest form, 1862 was essentially a vast array of objects. Selected and produced by a host of different nations, they conveyed many messages to many visitors. Such material objects lie at the heart of Design Historical approaches, which are interested in material and conceptual design from the minute to the magnificent. This column investigates core themes raised by the 1862 International Exhibition through the lens of designed objects, spaces and structures.

The Fourth Day of an 1862 Christmas…

On the fourth day of Christmas the 1862 Committee gave to me… four Calling Birds One of the surprise successes of the 1862 International Exhibition was a mechanical singing Bullfinch in the Swiss Court.  Wound-up periodically during the day, the … Continue reading

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The Third Day of an 1862 Christmas…

On the third day of Christmas the 1862 Committee gave to me… three French Hens   The 1862 International Exhibition was a space of rivalry as much as celebration.  Each country considered the event as a competition; a platform on … Continue reading

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The Second Day of an 1862 Christmas…

On the second day of Christmas the 1862 Committee gave to me… two Turtle Doves   The twelve days of an 1862 Christmas would not be complete without a nod to William Morris and Co.  Despite only being founded in … Continue reading

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The First Day of an 1862 Christmas…

On the first day of Christmas the 1862 Committee gave to me… a Partridge in a Pear Tree Vast.  Bombastic.  Opulent.  Extravagant.  Luxurious.  These are perhaps some of the best words to describe many of the objects that were displayed … Continue reading

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RIP Prince Albert

  RIP Prince Albert: Reading The 1862 International Exhibition as an Object Obituary On the 14th December 1861, the death of Prince Albert was announced to a startled nation: The nation has just sustained the greatest loss that could possible … Continue reading

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