The illustrated exhibitor: a tribute to the world's industrial jubilee — London, 1851

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No. 6.]

JULY 12, 1851.

[Price 2d.

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Never before in the history of the world was there so large a collection of valuable gems and exquisite specimens of
the lapidary's art collected in one building. Precious stones are not products of human industry. Excepting a certain
enhancement from the art of the lapidary, they owe their lustre and value to nature alone. Yet in all countries and
ages they have maintained an artificial repute, nor have any shows been more generally or permanently attractive than
those of rare or costly jewels. Never was there such a display of these gems as in our Crystal Palace. The Exhibition
contains the finest diamond, the finest ruby, and the finest emerald known to the world. For a sight of a single one
of these stones an adventurous voyager traversed enormous distances two centuries ago, and by dint of extraordinary
influence, audacity, and fortune was enabled to record himself as the only European who had ever succeeded in the
attempt. That stone is now in Hyde-park, and may be seen by any working man in the country for a shilling. The


richest collection of treasures hitherto known was to found at Dresden. Its existence was due to a singular succession
of wealthy and inquisitive princes in an age which favoured such fancies ; its preservation, to an impregnable fortress
within a few miles of the capital. It was deposited with extreme care in the vaults of the Eoyal Palace, and was only
to be seen on the payment of a considerable fee and after compliance with stringent conditions. Travellers and tra-
vellers' guides were full of the magnificence of these " Green Vaults," of the matchless splendour of their contents,
and the unparalleled cost of their ornaments. Yet, if the Green Vaults could be transferred bodily to Hyde-park, they
would not constitute either the richest or the most curious of the hundred compartments of the Crystal Palace. In
objects of bistorical interest they would, of course, surpass what professes to be an exhibition of modern industry




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