The 1904 Loan Exhibition Catalogue

The Illustrated Catalogue of all Items Loaned for the 1904 Music Exhibition at Fishmongers' Hall

The Loan Exhibition was established under the Patronage of His Majesty The King (Edward VII) to commemorate the Tercentenary of the granting by King James I, of a Charter of Incorporation to the Worshipful Company of Musicians in 1604.

 

The Exhibition venue needed to offer a room large enough to house all the expected exhibits, to have some natural light, but not be in full sun. A City Livery Hall was identified by the Loan Exhibition Committee as an ideal choice, but the ability to hang pictures on the

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wall was vital, as was the availability of other rooms for use as a performance area and lecture room. Plus, it would be needed for the Company's sole use for the entire period of the Exhibition. It was eventually held in Fishmongers' Hall and was opened by Their Royal Highnesses The Prince and Princess of Wales on Monday 27th June 1904 and remained open until Saturday 16th July, although everything was left in place until the following Monday as the King had expressed a wish to visit on the Sunday - no account of this event is available.

During the open period, it was estimated that between seven and eight thousand visitors attended the exhibition, attracting entrance fees of £224.12s.6d. Season tickets were available for multiple visits. Those loaning items attended without charge, as did all members of the Musicians' Company.

An innovative part of the 1904 Loan Exhibition was the 'Lecture Series'. Seventeen individual lectures, presented by eminent authorities (Members of the Company and others), were given in the Court Room of the Fishmongers' Hall. They focussed either on the progressive improvement in musical instruments, or on the developments that have taken place in the Art of Music since the Musicians' Company Charter was established by King James I in 1604. These lectures were published in a book called English Music in 1906. Containing transcripts of each lecture, the book is heavily illustrated.

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The Musicians' Company Archive Project
The Musicians' Company Archive Project
The Musicians' Company Archive Project

 

 

Left are the two printed pages of the "Programme of the Opening Ceremony". Click the image to expand. It can be seen that along with the Royal guests, The Lord Mayor, Lady Mayoress, the Sheriffs and their ladies were also in attendance.

 

 

The image shown left is an Official Invitation to that Opening Ceremony.

 

A musical performance is described at the Ceremony - the players with their instruments can be seen in the picture below (taken from the Illustrated Catalogue). The Rev. F.W.Galpin plays the Bass Viol on the far right.

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Galpin was a major collector of instruments and is shown left playing his Tromba Marina which he loaned to the Exhibition and is illustrated in the catalogue below. The Recorder on the right is also Galpin's and is similarly illustrated in the catalogue.

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For all his work with the Exhibition, Galpin was awarded the Honorary Freedom of the Company, as indeed was Dr William Hayman Cummings (Principal, Guildhall School of Music).

 

The Chairman of the Exhibition Committee, Sir Homewood Crawford was awarded a rare Silver Gilt Company Medal. This was presented back to the Company in 1937 by Pastmaster Truscott. It exists within a presentation case with engraved caption shown right. Also shown right is the obverse and the engraved edge of the Medal, click an image to expand.

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The Musicians' Company Archive Project
The Musicians' Company Archive Project

The Company's Silver Medal was conferred upon the two Honorary Secretaries of the Exhibition Committee - Mr Arthur F. Hill and Mr John Stainer (son of the composer Sir John Stainer) and also upon Colonel Thomas Bradney Shaw-Hellier. Mr Hill was also elected to the Court, together with Mr Alfred Littleton, both for their services to the Exhibition.

To the right is a page from the Minutes of a Court Meeting on 25th October 1904 (ref: MB8,p171) which provides a transcript of the short speech given by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales (to become George V) at the end of their visit for the Opening Ceremony. It reads:

"Mr Chairman Ladies and Gentlemen, I can only say that it has given both the Princess and myself the greatest pleasure to come here today and we have been extremely interested in all we have seen of these wonderful old musical instruments which date back as you say 300 years. I can only say I hope it will be visited by a great number of people and I am sure they cannot fail to be as interested as we have been. I am excessively pleased to be present in Fishmongers Hall once more as I have the honour of being a Member of that Company. I now have great pleasure in declaring this Exhibition open."

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The Musicians' Company Archive Project

Shown left is an illustrated article that appeared in the Daily Graphic on 28th June 1904 (the day after the opening ceremony). The drawing includes Their Royal Highnesses The Prince and Princess of Wales, The Lord Mayor (and presumably the Lady Mayoress), Sir Homewood Crawford and Sir Frederick Bridge.

 

This page is taken from one of the Company's Scrapbooks of Press Cuttings which also contains very many other articles on the subject of the Loan Exhibition. Click Here to see the Scrapbook.

Shown right is a copy of the Poster announcing the Tercentenary Exhibition (it was included in the 2nd Edition of the first Company Handbook in 1905).

A small (sixpenny) catalogue was produced for the event containing details of all the exhibits and from whom they had been 'borrowed' - one of which being H.M.The King whose items (including Handel's manuscript of Messiah) were insured for a total of £5,000. However, what is shown below is the 'Illustrated Catalogue' which was a de-luxe edition, larger format and with many illustrations of the items. Given some major delays in its completion, it was not actually published until 1909 - only 500 were produced.

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The Musicians' Company Archive Project
The Musicians' Company Archive Project
The Musicians' Company Archive Project
The Musicians' Company Archive Project

At a Court Meeting on 27th April 1909, Assistant Alfred H. Littleton presented the first copy of the Illustrated Catalogue of the 1904 Exhibition to the Master at the time, the Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor, Sir George Wyatt Truscott. Littleton made quite a speech, explaining the reasons why it had taken nearly 5 years to produce. Three relevant pages from the Minutes of that Court Meeting are provided right (Click to expand). It also specifies the distribution of 20 copies of the catalogue to various recipients - including HM The King and the Prince of Wales.

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The Musicians' Company Archive Project
The Musicians' Company Archive Project

The catalogue contains about 360 pages, so it has been separated into its original Chapter Headings as indicated below. Click on the buttons below to see images of the pages from that section - these pictures have been taken from the Company's own catalogue which resides in the Guildhall Library

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