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Robertson Royal Menagerie – 9 Strandc 1820

by Unknown artist

In the early 19th century travelling menageries, along with the fairground and travelling theatres and circuses, were a popular entertainment for the general public. In this travelling menagerie, temporarily located in London, exotic animals have been collected and displayed in two rows of small cages. In a darkened corner at the rear are two kangaroos, along with an emu, pelican and elephant.

The assorted spectators include men, women, children and a soldier from a Scottish Highlander regiment. Their responses to the animals are mixed; some are fearful, some interested, and some are actively baiting the caged animals.