An exceptionally rare survivor: a late Victorian, English made, embossed cardboard miniature theatre - `An Excursion Round the World` featuring forty scenes on a wind-on roller mechanism backlit by candlelight. The stage features a cut out `proscenium arch` surrounded by a heavy red-curtain enclosed by classical columns and surmounted by a globe motif graced with a variety of flags. The piece has been trademarked by a company with the initials, JWB who also took out a patent and copyright by entering the design at Stationer`s Hall, London. The reverse of the theatre shows the mechanism of two simple roller spools at either side of the stage united by a cord to a winder with wooden handle. A small metal saucer is affixed to the base in which a candle was placed to back-light the images. A printed label with instructions for use is found in one corner. The joy of the piece is found in the 40 fascinating views which range from natural history, famous geographical landmarks and man made edifices across the globe. All remain in remarkably good condition, the colours still vibrant after more than 100 years of use. Each image is numbered and named. A truly remarkable piece which, despite a few inevitable scuffs and marks to the cardboard, remains in well preserved, excellent condition to delight the most discerning collector. Circa 1895.
The scenes featured are as follows: Leaving Southampton Docks; Place de la Concorde, Paris; Cologne & The Rhine; Berlin, Germany; Aletsch Glacier, Pennine Alps; The Entrance to the Grand Canal, Venice, St Marks, Venice; The Colosseum, Rome; The Pyramids of Gizeh; The Great Hall, Karnak, Egypt, Sandstorm in the Desert; The Kaaba and Kissing-Stone, Mecca; Opium Smokers; Entrance to the Tomb of Akbar; Loess Terraces, Northern China; The Kremlin, Moscow; Squid; Waterspouts; Kilnea by Night, Sandwich Islands; Sea-Lions on Rocks off San Francisco; Stump of Big Tree, Cisco Station, California; Trestle Bridge on the Pacific Railway; Carrying the Mail Across the Prairies, 1880; The Narrows, Utah; Hot Wells on Gardiner`s River (Lower Basin), The Giantess Geyser, Yellowstone, Niagara in Winter, Elevated Street Railway, NY, The Great Bartholdi Statue, NY [Statue of Liberty]; Crossing the Atlantic in Winter; Aurora Borealis; The Arctic Sea; A Coast Glacier; The Crater of Mount Hegla; The Oystercatchers; The Dettifoss; Fingal`s Cave; The Forth Bridge; Safe Home Again.