Albert Smith was a larger than life Victorian character and, among other things, a great showman. His talks on the ascent of Mont Blanc at the Egyptian Hall were very popular. This item is an engraving by D. J. Pound from a photograph by Mayall. John Jabez Edwin Mayall was a well known photographer. Daniel John Pound was also well known, not least for translating photographs by Mayall, and other photographers, into engravings. See also Ref. no. N1463 for an Albert Smith token for the Egyptian Hall Museum, 1860.

Woodin (1825-1888) was particularly well known for his two entertainments the ‘Carpet Bag’ and the ‘Olio of Oddities’. He was a protean artiste and ventriloquist skilled in creating entertainments with many voices, mannerisms and costumes. His successes in London include performances at the Polygraphic Hall and the Egyptian Hall. This engraving is by D.J. Pound based on a photograph by Gill of London.

The print, probably from 1830, shows Michel Boai with his wife, and M. Engels the violin accompanist. They are shown ‘in the Costume in which they appear in their popular Performance at THE EGYPTIAN HALL Piccadilly’. Boai made his music with his mouth, chin and cheeks. Apparently he had perfect pitch over two and a half octaves and was said to be able to play extremely rapid passages of music with complete accuracy. See Ref. no. N1936 for details of Boai appearing at the Egyptian Hall.