Our shops are open and we are processing online, telephone and email orders as normal


Series of three hand-painted lantern slides.

[c.1850s/60s] Stock Code: 135445
Reserve Ask us a question

Britain's first specialist commercial building

A series of three magic lantern slides depicting the Royal Exchange, Britain's first specialist commercial building, before, during, and after the fire of 10 January 1838. The Royal Exchange pictured in the first slide, designed by Edward Jerman and opened in 1669, was the second iteration of the building: the original structure, built for the Exchange's founder Sir Thomas Gresham, was destroyed in the Great Fire of London. The new - and present - building was designed by Sir William Tite and opened by Queen Victoria in 1844. Today the Royal Exchange is a luxury shopping centre. The present slides are not recorded on LUCERNA (the magic lantern collections search engine), though a number of other depictions of Cornhill Street and the Exchange are.

Cinema historian Sudhir Mahadevan notes that the 1838 burning of the Royal Exchange was an event used to demonstrate the "sense of temporal and spatial continuity" created by biunal magic lanterns in particular (p. 47). The two separate optical systems of these double-lens lanterns allowed the projections to 'dissolve' into one another almost seamlessly.

Confused? Read our glossary


3 hand-painted circular glass lantern slides encased within separate wooden frames (each 100 x 177 x 10 mm), frame rectos hand-numbered and titled in ink, "1. Old Royal Exchange"; "2. Old Royal Exchange [on fire]"; "3. New Royal Exchange [the existing building]", small paper library labels top left correspondingly hand-numbered, and top edges of frames annotated to match.


Hand-colouring remains bright and fresh, with just a couple of tiny areas of wear to third slide, but no cracks or scratches; some marks to frames; overall a very well-preserved set.


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details



Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

Email: mail@peterharrington.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220

ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book