# 39425


Jumbo II. The Largest Animal on the Face of the Earth. From Wm. Cross’s Zoological Establishment, Liverpool.

$350.00 AUD

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[1882 or 1883]. Woodburytpe photograph, carte de visite format, 66 x 102 mm (mount); recto with printed caption and the imprint of Brown, Barnes & Bell (Liverpool); verso with printed statistical information about Jumbo II, written by the elephant’s owner, the animal dealer and entrepreneur William Cross, headed ‘The Talk of England, The Rage of Fashionable Society, The Envy of America’; this text is followed by an advertisement for the exotic animals and birds available for purchase at Cross’s Zoological Establishment in Liverpool’s Old Hall Street, billed by him as ‘The Largest Trading Zoological Establishment in the World’; both the print and mount are in excellent condition.

In spruiking his prize elephant specimen, Jumbo II, who is advertised on this photographic carte de visite souvenir as ‘the largest and heaviest animal’ he has ever seen, William Cross was no doubt cashing in on the so-called ‘elephant craze’ of 1882, which had been created following the London zoological gardens’ sale in March that year of Jumbo, an African elephant much loved by the British public, to the American circus of P. T. Barnum for £2,000. The text on the back of the carte refers to a prize awarded in 1881 to a Talking Grey Parrot that had been purchased from Cross; this helps in dating the carte de visite to around 1882-3.