George Wombwell (1777-1850) was Victorian Britain’s most famous menagerie exhibitor. With a troupe of showmen and animal handlers he toured country fairs across the nation with exotic animals procured from Africa, Australia, India and South America.
In 1831 Wombwell brought his menagerie to the sea-side town of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. The show featured elephants (including some 'miniature' specimens and one belonging to an Indian Maharaja), a mandrill (or ‘real man monkey’ as this poster advertises), a pair of Indian antelope, black panthers, and a condor (‘the largest, most cruel, and voracious of the vulture species’). Wombwell typically charged one shilling to see the show, and offered concessions to children and ‘labouring people’.