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Thames Tunnel Souvenir

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A good souvenir of the Thames Tunnel,engraved all round. The front depicts the two bores with a multitude of visitors, the reverse a fine country house with the owners before it, perhaps about to leave for Rotherhithe. With silver metal bands to the rim and base, a cartouche shaped and set between the tunnels engraved 'S.R'.

English circa 1850. h:5 inches high.

The tunnel became a major tourist attraction, attracting about two million people a year, each paying a penny to pass through. The American traveller, William Allen Drew, generously wrote in 1851 'The Arches are lighted with gas burners, that make it as bright as the sun; and the avenues are always crowded with a moving throng of men, women and children, examining the structure of the Tunnel, or inspecting the fancy wares, toys, &c., displayed by the arch-looking girls of these arches ... It is impossible to pass through without purchasing some curiosity'. Four years later, the American writer and visitor, Nathaniel Hawthorne, was less impressed, writing 'it consisted of an arched corridor of apparently interminable length, gloomily lighted with jets of gas at regular intervals ... There are people who spend their lives there, seldom or never, I presume, seeing any daylight, except perhaps a little in the morning. All along the extent of this corridor, in little alcoves, there are stalls of shops, kept principally by women, who, as you approach, are seen through the dusk offering for sale ... multifarious trumpery .. 



Item Code: 3587

£ 1050

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