Archive for the Prince Albert Category

Birthday Wishes to the Queen

Posted in 19th Century, Prince Albert, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha, Queen Victoria on May 23, 2011 by babylonbaroque

As tomorrow will be the 192nd anniversary of Queen Alexandrina Victoria’s birth, I wanted to compile a little album devoted to her image.

As I never grow weary of  looking at images of the  great lady,  discussing her reign, and examining the culture that flourished under her watch, putting  this post  together was quite a  treat. Most of the images were pulled from  the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A.

Queen Victoria

(Golden Jubilee, 1887)

b. 24th May 1819

d. 22nd January 1901

gorgeous coloring

Her Majesty’s Gracious Smile

by Charles Knight, 1887


For a queen so often  remembered as a symbol of repressive colonialism, rigid class boundaries, and overstuffed parlors chock-a-block with bric-a-brac and dusty aspidistra; I wanted to cobble together a more intimate, approachable collection. It is after all her birthday, would be bad manners to dwell upon unfortunate events.

Victoria as a child.

Hand-colored engraving, 1825-30


Charles Robert Leslie

Queen Victoria in Her Coronation Robes


oil on canvas


Queen Victoria

published 1st May 1838


circa 1837-50

Her Majesty Queen Victoria opening her first Parliament

late 1830’s


unknown artist


It isn’t possible to discuss the Queen without  Prince Albert of Saxe-Colburg-Gotha, her dashing husband; her passion for him was quite intense, “bliss beyond belief”. They married 10th February 1840.

The public understandably could not  get enough of the happy couple; the engravers satisfied their desire with an enormous amount of ephemera.

The Queen and Prince Albert’s Polka

printed 1840


Such passion inevitably brings forth royal issue, the first being Victoria, Empress of Germany and Queen of Prussia.

Windsor Castle



More after that, ultimately eight children, she was not only the Queen, she was a mother.

A very marketable commodity.

The Royal Mother

1844 or after

“At Home” images became increasingly popular, they hold my interest well past the fact.

The Queen and Prince Albert at Home



Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and family



The Queen never seemed to lose her dignity,possessing that well known (often caricatured) aloof air; yet from the sheer volume  of material culture bearing her likeness it is quite apparent how fondly she was regarded.

Charles Clifford

Queen Victoria

14th November 1861

albumen carte-de-visite


From costly wall coverings,

Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee


F.Scott and Son


to “street-art” stencils,



the Queen’s image seems to have been everywhere. This quitepeculiar pipe bowl of 1887 , maker unknown, really captures the Queen’s likeness;although stuffing tobacco in your monarch’s cranium seems a bit irreverent.


by Alexander Bassano


National Portrait Gallery

Although her reign was of incredible length, 63 years and 216 days ( but who’s counting?), the inevitable happens, January 22nd 1901 Her Majesty passed.This image is particularly touching with her  beloved Albert ever present.

unknown photographer, 1901


I will close with a happier image.

by Sir George Hayter


National Portrait Gallery

If you are as much a monarchy looney as I am, perhaps consider joining The British Monarchy Facebook page.

Until next time,

Babylon Baroque

The Great Exhibition 1851

Posted in 1851 Great Exhibition, 19th cent., Crystal Palace, furniture, Henry Cole, Prince Albert, Pugin, Queen Victoria on June 24, 2010 by babylonbaroque

Last weeks post featured a really magnificent sideboard that had been presented at the Great Exhibition of 1851, I felt the Exhibition itself was worth exploring.

This title plate from the souvenir folio “Recollections of the Great Exhibition, 1850, London, Lloyd Bros. & Comp., Sept 1st 1851”, expresses the international participation that Prince Albert had hoped for when planning the exhibition with Henry Cole and  fellow reformers.

(The dome is from Coalbrookdale, the statue of Wm. Shakespeare by John Bell.)

The influence of the Great Exhibition was significant, setting off a chain of similar design exhibits. This focus on design, with it’s lofty intentions of raising aesthetic standards, is so rare in our present society, the focus being profit. The luxury of building the Crystal Palace to showcase goods, often as banal as fire grates, is almost  incomprehensible .

As much as I may admire the intention, their were contemporary  critics who felt differently, Pugin called the Crystal Palace a “glass monster”, Carlyle derided it as a “big glass bubble”; and the influential Ruskin dismissed it as a “conservatory”. The above plate of this controversial structure was by G. Baxter

The following plates are from the “Recollections” folio.

Plate 10, Furniture Court #1 (by Wilson)

Ecclesiastical and Civil

Plate #12

Part of the Birmingham Court (by H.C.Pidgeon)

Plate # 15

Part of the China Court (by J. Absolon)

Plate #20

Turkish Hall

It would be ridiculous not to include some of the fancy goods set out to entice and bewitch a design hungry crowd. Some lovely, some vulgar, all from my perspective, beguiling.

Sideboard by Gutta Percha Company

I love the over florid “naturalistic” ornament, seems unlikely that they were able to carve so many tendrils, I imagine it was flattened in construction.

Viennese Flower Vase by Johan Gaster

Gothic metal stove

by Augustus Welby Pugin, manufacturer John Hardmon & Comp.

I guess Pugin  got over his disgust and decided to peddle his wares in the “glass monster’ after all.

Heating Stove in the form of a suit of armor.

Really it doesn’t get better then this.

This is the reason critics lampoon the 19th century, and why anachronistic old farts like myself adore it.

Another bit of Great Exhibition ephemera, “Lane’s Telescopic View of the Ceremony of Her Majesty Opening the Great Exhibition of All Nations”, designed by Rawlins, London, August 15th 1851

With that , thank you your Majesty.

Queen Victoria

ca. 1842

by Franz Xavier Winterhalter

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert at the Bal Costume of May 12th 1842


dressed as Edward III (1315-1377) and Queen Philippa (1314-13690)

Good night

by Sir Edwin Henry Landseer ( 1802-1873, London)