Illustrated plate taken from Dickinsons' 'Comprehensive Pictures of The Great Exhibition' (1854). Prominent objects on the second French stand included Fordinois' prize sideboard, the gold doors of the Baptistry of Florence, a Barbedienne bookcase and bronzes. The 'Great Exhibition of the Works of the Industry of all Nations' was conceived by Prince Albert (1819-1861). The Crystal Palace was purpose-built to house the exhibits. It was the first large-scale prefabricated ferrovitreous (iron and glas) structure, and was designed by Joseph Paxton (1801-1865). The prefabricated design made the construction, and later dismantling, easier and quicker.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library