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Bonhams auction of Fine Books and photographs on 18 March 2015 includes a set of Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, 1851, including 154 mounted Calotypes. The nine volume set is a presentation set for Richard Cobden, one of the Commissioners. It is estimated at £25,000-35,000. 

The lot description reads: 

Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, 1851. Reports by the Juries on The Subjects in the Thirty Classes into which the Exhibition was Divided, 4 vol., 154 MOUNTED CALOTYPES, captioned on the mounts, variable tones, images approximately 175 x 224mm., 3 chromolithographed plates by Day & Son, 1852; Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations, 1851. Official Descriptive and Illustrated Catalogue, 3 vol., numerous wood-engraved plates and illustrations, large hand-coloured folding map, one leaf of text loose,[1852]; First Report of the Commissioners for the Exhibition of 1851, 2 hand-coloured folding engraved plans, one chromolithographed coloured diagrammatic plate, 8 plates (2 folding, 5 of Medals), 1852; Exhibition MDCC.LI Medals, 5 medals loose mounted in case, the velveteen and silked mounting worn, [1852], together 9 vol., some spotting, each volume with a specially printed presentation leaf to Cobden, original uniform red morocco by Riviere, lettered in gilt on upper covers and spines, imperial blue silk doublures with royal arms in gilt and the initials for Victoria and Albert entwined, g.e., the medal case to match with brass hinges and clasps and with the presentation printed in gilt on the case doublure, folio (350 x 250mm.), Spicer Brothers...W. Clowes & Sons, [1851]-1852 (9)



    Nikolaas Henneman (Talbot's one time photographic assistant) was responsible for printing all the photographs needed for the Reports(approximately 20,150 assuming that all the proposed 130 copies were completed), from albumenised glass plate negatives and calotype paper negatives by Claude Marie Ferrier and Hugh Owen respectively. Henneman was commissioned by the Royal Commissioners of the Great Exhibition to undertake the printing of the positives on Talbot's silver chloride paper. However, as Talbot commented at the time, "[the Committee] are so extraordinarily stingy, notwithstanding they have a surplus of £200,000, and make such hard conditions with [Henneman], that it is doubtful whether he will earn anything by his labour" (Gernsheim, p.207). The photographs include views of the exterior and interior of Paxton's main building, together with important images of exhibits ranging from agricultural machinery and steam trains to inflatable boats and garden statues. 

    Provenance: Richard Cobden (1804-1865), commissioner for the Great Exhibition, manusfacturer and politician, Anti-Corn Law League campaigner, presentation leaf in each volume; Durnford Library bookplate. Cobden was a leading figure in the success of the Exhibition. "If there is a single person who represented internationalism at the time of the Great Exhibiton it was Richard Cobden... [it] provided a great opportunity to promote his internationalist beliefs, beliefs he largely shared with Prince Albert... [stating] at a public meeting in Birmingham 'We shall by that means [the Exhibition] break down the barriers that have separated the people of different nations, and witness the universal republic...'" (The Great Exhibition of 1851: A Nation on Display, edited by Jeffrey A. Auerbach, 1999).

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