Thursday, June 20, 2013

Object of the Day, Museum Edition: Cover for “The Queen & Prince Albert Polka,” 1840

The Queen & Prince Albert Polka
Color Lithograph
After John Brandard, Artist
M. & N. Hanhart, Lithographer
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Two things were quite popular in Britain in 1840: the marriage of their Queen to Prince Albert and the polka. Well, okay, there were other things going on, too, but they don’t factor into this object. This printed page combined the wedding and the polka into one very charming graphic.

Here, we see the cover from the sheet music for a popular song written in time for the wedding—“The Queen & Prince Albert Polka.” The cover depicts Queen Victoria in a white gown wearing the sash of the Order of the Garter, as one does when one polkas, and Prince Albert in a very handsome red military jacket with epaulettes. They look out to the viewer as if to entreat them to join in the festivities. A border of gold, scrolled foliage surrounds the image and title.

It’s very cute. I want it.

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