Indisputably the Largest Menagerie in Europe - Advertisement from the Enoch Wood Scrapbook

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Date:1806 - 1814 (c.)

Description:Stephanus Polito's Travelling Menagerie

Advertisement for a forthcoming visit by one of the few travelling menageries of the time. The cost of entrance was one shilling.

These were very popular events.

An Amazing Sight

The show, an array of exotic birds and animals would be transported and exhibited in a convoy of six large caravans.

The brightest and most beautiful assemblage of FORIEGN ANIMALS and BIRDS

The exhibition included;

  • A Bengal Tiger and Tigress

  • lion from Senegal

  • lioness from a pride at the Tower of London

  • kangaroo from Botany Bay

  • panther from South America

  • Ursine sloth from Bengal

  • Wolf

  • Muscovy Cats

  • Mandrill

  • Opossum

  • Ape

  • Raccoons

  • Ostrich from Vandieman's Land

  • Cassowary from New South Wales

  • Pelicans

  • Vultures from Brazil

  • and many more

  • The celebrated Collector of Living Curiosities

    Italian born Stephanus Polito travelled the country with this exhibtion during the summer and exibited at Exeter Grange in London through the winter.

    His exhibitions were educational rather than performance events. Unlike some other shows of the time, he did not make his animals perform tricks.

    He died in 1814 but the exhibition still carried his name when the menagerie toured with a new owner.

    Lost at Sea?

    It is rumoured that the menagerie was lost at sea as it travelled to Ireland in 1836.

    About this Document

    This document was printed by Edward Bains, Briggate, Leeds. It was collected by local industrialist Enoch Wood and is now part of the collections at Stoke-on-Trent Museums.


    Link to this resource

    Donor ref:(138/17090)

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