DEZALLIER D'ARGENVILLE Frontispiece based on a drawing by the King of France's principal painter, Francois Boucher. A renowned French naturalist and art lover, Dezallier is also an acclaimed 18th century scientific illustrator. His work is internationally famous for sparking a Parisian fad for natural history.
This is a handbill for Harry Philips' Living Mythological Mermaid exhibit. Sideshows and exhibitions of curiosities have appeared in travelling fairs, circuses and taverns in England since the 1600s. Some of these curiosities were genuine - people born with abnormal features or those able perform extraordinary physical acts - and some of them were fake - based on illusions and tricks. These shows were a particularly popular form of entertainment during the Victorian period.