State Library of South AustraliaState Library of South Australia

Panorama of the Coronation of George IV, 19th July 1821

Catalogue record

Place of Creation: [London]

Published by W. Samuels

Date of creation : [1822]

Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia. This image may be printed or saved for personal research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.

Format : Ephemera

Donated by Friends of the State Library of South Australia 1985

A hand-held panorama reel of the Coronation procession of Geoge IV. The long pictorial strip, wound on a bobbin inside the casing, is drawn out through a slot; thus the procession passes before the viewer's eyes. A spin-off of the Marshall Brothers' 'Grand historical peristrephic panorama'.

Panoramas preceded pop-up books and ranged from four leaves unfolding to reveal a story to this elaborate 39 feet (1180cm) panorama of the coronation of King George IV in July 1821. The long panorama is housed in a wooden cylinder and is pulled out through a slot to gradually emerge.

The figures are numbered and although the original booklet to identify the figures is missing, this can be done using Legg's English coronation records. From this it is shown that the King's Herb Woman (Miss Fellowes) headed the procession, and is missing from the panorama: as the first piece it has been worn away by frequent use. The other herb maidens however are there followed by the Messenger of the College of Arms (3). At (93) HRH the Duke of York, (96) the Earl Marshall of England, Lord Howard of Effingham; the Sword of State carried by Charles Duke of Dorset; and the Lord High Constable of England, the Duke of Wellington.

The King appears at (102) beneath a canopy supported by the Barons of the Cinque Ports, with two bishops and with his train carried by eight eldest sons of peers. The procession concludes with the Yeomen of the Guard.

All of these figures are meticulously coloured by hand and the robes and regalia are revealed in minute detail. For anyone unable to visit London to view the procession in person, the panorama provided an alternative, or was an attractive keepsake of a day of great ceremony.

Panoramas and paper doll books became fashionable around 1810: both types of books were fragile by nature and expensive to buy. Many were produced by S & J Fuller at their 'Temple of Fancy': this firm was more concerned with an elegant production than with cost. They catered to the tastes and purchasing ability of the emerging upper middle class, and the panoramas and peepshow format were able to take advantage of events or popular stories such as the Epsom races, or the History of John Gilpin, or the Coronation of George IV, and produce an entertainment that the family could enjoy together.

An enlarged zoomable image is also available.


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