a victorian carte de visite of grace darlings boat pictured as an exhibit of the shipwrecked fishermen & mariners royal benevolent society at the great international fisheries exhibition, South Kensington. the grounds of the exhibition encompassed 21 acres (0.085 km2) of the royal horticultural society grounds in South Kensington.The exhibition aquarium was the largest ever constructed, containing 65,000 gallons of water, and the aquarium building formed the entire eastern boundary of the grounds with ten large saltwater tanks and nine large freshwater tanks, plus a further twenty smaller tanks all filled with seawater. All seawater for the exhibition came from Brighton
Grace Horsley Darling (24 November 1815 – 20 October 1842) was an English lighthouse keepers daughter. Her participation in the rescue of survivors from the shipwrecked Forfarshire in 1838 brought her national fame. The paddle steamer ran aground on the farne islands off the coast of northumberland in northeast England; nine members of the crew were saved.
in the early hours of 7 September 1838, grace Darling, looking from an upstairs window of the longstone lighthouse, spotted the wreck and survivors of the Forfarshire on Big Harcar, a nearby low, rocky island. The Forfarshire had foundered on the rocks and broken in half; one of the halves had sunk during the night.
grace and her father took a rowing boat, a 21 ft (6.4 m), four-man Northumberland coble ( pictured in the carte de visite ) across to the survivors, taking a long route that kept to the lee side of the islands, a distance of nearly a mile (about 1.5 km). Darling kept the coble steady in the water, while her father helped four men and the lone surviving woman, Sarah Dawson, into the boat.
As news of her role in the rescue reached the public, her combination of bravery and simple virtue set her out as exemplary, and led to an uneasy role as the nation's heroine. Grace and her father were awarded the silver medal for bravery by the Royal National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck, later named the RNLI.Subscriptions and donations totaling over £700 (equivalent to about £67,100 in 2021) were raised for her, including £50 from Queen Victoria; more than a dozen portrait painters sailed to her island home to capture her likeness, and hundreds of gifts, letters, and even marriage proposals were delivered to her. Her unexpected wealth and fame were such that the Duke of northumberland took on a role as her self-appointed guardian and founder of a trust, established to look after the donations offered to her. His personal gifts to her family were a timepiece and a silver teapot.
carte de visite were small cards, the size of a formal visiting card about 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches (11.4 x 6.3 cm), with a black-and-white photograph attached, often of a celebrity. They were invented in 1854 by A.A.E. Disderi and were hugely popular in the 1860s and often collected in Victorian portrait albums. The backs of the cards were normally printed with the photographer's name, address and insignia.
the carte de visite is protected in a simple glass and metal frame that can be wall hung or surface mounted.