View of the Chinese pagoda and bridge in St. James Park. Erected in commemoration of a general peace! Taken on the first of August, 1814, the day of the Grand Jubilee; just as Mr. Sadler was ascending in his balloon, and about five hours before the upper part of the beautiful structure was unfortunately, and by accident, destroyed by fire, occasioned by the discharge of fireworks

Chinese pagoda printed on silk

View of the Chinese pagoda and bridge in St. James Park. Erected in commemoration of a general peace! Taken on the first of August, 1814, the day of the Grand Jubilee; just as Mr. Sadler was ascending in his balloon, and about five hours before the upper part of the beautiful structure was unfortunately, and by accident, destroyed by fire, occasioned by the discharge of fireworks

[London]: printed and published by G. Davis, at the Royal Jubilee Printing Office, in Hyde Park, 1814. Small folio broadside printed on silk (approx. 13" x 9½"); near fine. Monday, 1st August 1814 was both the anniversary of the Battle of the Nile and the centenary of the ascension to the throne of the Hanoverian monarchs; to celebrate these and the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which ended hostilities between Britain and France, the day was chosen for a grand national Jubilee. Thomas Smith of Marylebone, in his Historical Recollections of Hyde Park, left us a detailed account of the day: "Many hundreds of workmen had been employed for several weeks in making the necessary preparations, while a numerous body of artists from the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich were occupied in arranging the fire-works under the superintendence of Sir W. Congreve, in temporary buildings erected for that purpose in the Green Park. The most judicious precautions were adopted to prevent accidents from the pressure of the crowd, by taking down the iron railings and part of the wall in several places, thus affording free access to the immense multitude that had been attracted from all parts of the country. It is an indisputable fact, that such a number of persons were never brought together on any former occasion of public rejoicing. "In St. James’s Park, the principal object was a bridge thrown across the canal on which an elegant Chinese pagoda of seven stories was erected, profusely ornamented and hung with lamps, with fire-works affixed to various parts, the interior of the enclosure being appropriated to those who paid for admission; numerous booths and tents were pitched, while boats filled with elegantly dressed females on the canal, presented to the eye a scene of enchantment not easily to be imagined or described ... "In the early part of the evening Mr. Sadler ascended with his balloon from the space in front of Buckingham House to the great gratification of the royal party, who had taken a lively interest in witnessing the preparations for the ascent; at a later period of the evening, an unfortunate accident happened which threw a damp over the whole proceedings at this point, the fire-works having set fire to the pagoda; two of the men employed were so seriously injured that they expired on the following day; and before the fire could be got under, five stories of the pagoda were consumed." Item #58423

Price: $3,500.00

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