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Manders's Menagerie, or, Come & see the guinea-pigs / Alfred Concanen, lith
Bib ID 7898354
Format PicturePicture, OnlineOnline [still image, text, sheet]
Concanen, Alfred, 1835-1886, artist
Online Versions
Printer London : Printed by Stannard & Son
Description London [England] : J.A. Turner, Ia. Leadenhall St. E.C., [1874] 
1 print : colour illustration ; 36 x 27 cm 

A sheet music cover with a hand coloured lithographed illustration by Alfred Concanen, the foremost British sheet music illustrator of his day, signed lower left. The scene shows the two figures apparently summoning customers, in front of a wall of posters advertising some of the menagerie’s attractions, including one showing a kangaroo holding a rifle titled ‘Ye Kangeroo’. Below the image is the following chorus verse: “Come & see the winkles, Come & see the whales. / Come & see the guinea pigs in mourning for their tails, / Come & see the Kangaroo that’s learning how to shoot, / Come & see the Crocodile that plays upon the flute.” There is a brownish tint to the background, and the man’s striped pants, as well as the boy drummer’s buttons and shoe tops, are coloured bright red.


Manders' Grand National Mammoth Menagerie (later known as Manders' Royal Menagerie and later still as The Grand National Star Menagerie) operated in Great Britain from about 1850 to 1871, eventually employing 60 people and touring in America. It was run by William Manders, who first came to notice as the star spieler for Hilton's, a competitor of the better known Wombwell’s Menagerie, which were reported to be locked in a deadly rivalry in 1833. Soon after Manders' death in 1871, his animals were sold in an auction that aroused great interest, especially for the rarer species. There is no mention of kangaroos in the account that Australian newspapers carried of this sale, but it does mention an “Orange coloured cockatoo, a good talker, £7; wombat, £5 10s;” and that “two Tasmanian devil, male and female," only fetched £3 the pair … The Tasmanian devil is a bear-like, savage animal; he lives in a burrow, and is a great poultry eater. One of these animals recently escaped near Taunton [in Somerset]; and created tremendous havoc among the poultry in the neighbourhood” (, viewed March 2019).


Illustrated cover only, verso blank, for the sheet music composed by Vincent Davies; "written by Harry Hunter expressly for James Francis by whom it is most successfully sung in the celebrated Mohawk Minstrels' entertainment, Agricultural Hall, London".

This printing published by J.A. Turner is most probably the first. A copy at the Victoria and Albert Museum appears to be a later issue, with the Turner imprint over stamped with ‘Hopwood & Crew’, and the illustration lacking the red colour. There is another Hopwood & Crew edition at Oxford University. Similarly, a copy at the National Library of Australia lacks the red colour and the publishing credit is ‘J.Bath’, with no address. No other copy of the Turner edition was located as of March 2019, although as of then there are insufficient details in their online catalogue to identify the copy at the British Museum.

Also available online Broadside 1317 copy

Subjects Mander's Menagerie -- Pictorial works.  |  Menageries -- Great Britain -- Pictorial works.  |  Exotic animals -- Great Britain -- Pictorial works.  |  Kangaroos -- Pictorial works.  |  Australian
Other authors/contributors Davies, Vincent  |  Francis, James, 1840-1886  |  Hunter, Harry  |  Mohawk Minstrels
Also Titled

Come & see the guinea-pigs

Manders' Menagerie

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