Advert for the Royal Aquarium 998
Medium: Print on paper
The fish and marine animals at the Royal Aquarium were probably the last things that the Victorian visitors went to see. Far more interesting to the public were the human curiosities on display in the aquarium's regular circus nights. ‘The Aztecs’, advertised on this leaflet, were one such attraction.
They comprised brother and sister Maximo and Bartola, who had allegedly been found in an ancient Aztec temple by an American explorer called Morris. Marketed as the last vestiges of their civilisation, they toured Europe and America, in circuses and at scientific meetings, and were the subject of much discussion. They were, however, a hoax. Originally from a small village in Central America, they had been bought by Morris from their mother when they were small children.