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  • Place of origin:

    London (printed)

  • Date:

    ca.1820 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bewick, Thomas, born 1753 - died 1828 (artist)
    Tyler and Honeyman (printer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    wood engraving & letterpress on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This poster advertises the menagerie at Exeter Change when it was owned by Edward Cross (bap.1774-1854). Cross bought the concern from Stefano Polito in 1814, but there had been a menagerie there from 1773, on the first floor above a parade of shops. Edward Cross renamed the collection the Royal Grand National Menagerie, and employed a doorkeeper dressed as a Yeoman of the Guard. The elephant advertised on this poster was Chuny who Polito had bought from Covent Garden Theatre, but who was put to death in 1826 after becoming violent.

Exeter Change was originally built as The Exeter Exchange in 1676 on the north side of the Strand in London, on the site of Exeter House. Before Polito owned the menagerie it belonged to Gilbert Pidcock who had a travelling menagerie and who had illustrated some posters with engravings by Thomas Bewick. Bewick excelled at portraying animals and produced A General History of Quadrupeds in 1790, illustrated with his own engravings produced on boxwood. The style of this lion engraving is similar to a Bewick engraving of a Bengal tiger on a poster Pidcock issued for his travelling menagerie in 1795.

Physical description

Typographic poster listing the animals on view at Edward Cross's Royal Menagerie in the Strand, obverse, with a wood-engraved heading of an image of a lion. The animals noted include a male elephant, noble lions and lionessses, a Bengal tigress, a panther, a porcupine, leopards, hyenas, lynxes, a wolf, an ocelot, a Margay or tree ocelot, ant-eaters, a bison, the Quagga or Plains zebra, emus, ostriches, a Cassowary, beavers, secretary birds, a zebra, a Maraboo, eagles, cranes, Kangaroos and owls. Verso: a poem entitled 'Public Supper' inviting people to see the animals being fed between 8 and 9pm.

Place of Origin

London (printed)


ca.1820 (printed)


Bewick, Thomas, born 1753 - died 1828 (artist)
Tyler and Honeyman (printer)

Materials and Techniques

wood engraving & letterpress on paper


Height: 53.9 cm, Width: 22.1 cm

Descriptive line

Poster advertising The Royal Menagerie, Exeter Change, Strand, London, when owned by Edward Cross. Letterpress and wood engraving, possibly by Thomas Bewick (1753-1828). Poster issued between 1814 and 1826. Printed by Tyler and Honeyman.


Printing ink; Paper


Wood engraving; Letterpress


Entertainment & Leisure; Posters


Theatre and Performance Collection

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