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Cooke's Royal Olympic Circus

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1830 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Guy and Balne (printers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    woodcut and letterpress

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Hon. Arthur Villiers

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case Z, shelf 17, box V

Physical description

Playbill for 'Cooke's Royal Olympic Circus' at the Mermaid Tavern, Hackney, on 29 March 1830. The sheet is double-sided, with information printed in red on one side, and seven woodcut illustrations of characters on horseback on the other.

Place of Origin

London (made)


1830 (printed)


Guy and Balne (printers)

Materials and Techniques

woodcut and letterpress

Marks and inscriptions

Balne, Printer, 38, Gracechurch Street


Height: 33.8 cm, Width: 43.5 cm

Object history note

This object was part of the John Edmund Gardner collection of topographical prints and drawings of London. After Gardner's death the collection passed to his son Edmund Thomas, but was sold to Edward Coates MP in 1910. The collection was sold again in 1923 after Coates' death, and was split between various institutions and private collectors. The portion connected with Hoxton, Homerton, Hackney and Bethnal Green was bought by the Hon. Arthur Villiers and donated to the Bethnal Green Museum.

Descriptive line

Letterpress and woodcut playbill for 'Cooke's Royal Olympic Circus' at the Mermaid Tavern, Hackney, printed by Balne, London, 1830

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Taken from departmental handlist.


Paper (fiber product)


Letterpress printing; Woodcut

Subjects depicted

Circus; Horses


London history; Prints; Printed pages & sheets; Entertainment & Leisure; Circus; Ephemera


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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