- Museum number
Two small cards pasted to the inside of the front cover of the album of cards sent to Queen Mary registered 1947,10.11.2 (1 to 84): miniature visiting card of "Gen. Tom Thumb" (Charles Sherwood Stratton), and an admission ticket to his performance as Napoleon Bonaparte at the Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly, with a diminutive figure dressed as Napoleon standing beside the raised thumb of a hand which proffers a visiting card lettered: ‘H.G. Sherman, / Preceptor, / to Gl. Tom Thumb’. Both printed on glossy card. 1844-1846
Also pasted inside the front cover is an associated envelope, inscribed in pen and brown ink, "Tom Thumb's cards".
Height: 18 millimetres (1949,0411.5279)
Height: 45 millimetres (1949,0411.5280)
Width: 30 millimetres
Width: 80 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- ‘Tom Thumb’ made the first of several appearances at the Egyptian Hall in 1844.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- British Museum, Central Archive, ‘Book of Presents’, excerpts from two letters transcribed by Marjorie Caygill c.2004:
1. Major John Wickham, Private Secretary to Queen Mary, to Sir John Forsdyke, Director of the BM, 28 Feb. 1949:
‘P.S. Queen Mary has just turned out two little cards of “Tom Thumb”, which probably belonged to Princess Augusta [of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, QM's aunt]. Her Majesty thinks that you may be interested to have them, even if you do not consider it appropriate to put them with her collection of Christmas cards.’
2. J. Forsdyke to J. Wickham, 28 Feb. 1949:
Acknowledges QM’s gift of three further volumes of Christmas cards; and ‘… also the ‘General Tom Thumb’ cards, which are historically interesting. It was his sensational exhibition in the Egyptian Hall which finally destroyed the artistic hopes of Benjamin Robert Haydon’. Haydon despaired when Tom Thumb's performance drew huge crowds while his adjacent exhibition of history paintings was a failure.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number