Egyptian House, 170-173 Piccadilly, is the modern vestige of Egyptian Hall, Victorian venue extraordinaire. It was the site of circus strongman / ‘excavator’ Giovanni Belzoni’s 1821 exhibition of Egyptian antiquities, and, over half a century later, one of many venues for archaeologist Flinders Petrie’s exhibitions of Egyptian antiquities. In 1888, Petrie held his annual exhibition of archaeological artefacts at Egyptian Hall. The material displayed came from Hawara, Egypt and included a series of stunning painted mummy portraits from the Roman period. Some of these were subsequently incorporated into the National Gallery's collections (and are now at the British Museum). Others can be seen at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, University College London.
Thanks to the digital capabilities of Vintique, I turned an average photograph of a completely missable address on Piccadilly into a retro-style documentation of one of London’s lost entertainment venues. Cheek-by-jowl with Messrs Meskalyne and Cook's magic shows and music hall performances, in 1888 visitors could also feast their eyes on ancient artefacts thousands of years old.