Near the end of August 1862, Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins (1807-1894) wrote to Edward Trimmer (1827-1904) with a brief mention of the New Year’s Eve dinner in Iguanodon mould. The letter included a small illustration of guests sitting at the dinner table inside his Iguanodon mould.
In an earlier essay, I give details about that event, including who attended, what was served, where the event was held, and so on. An important detail is that the dinner used the Iguanodon mould or model, not the statue visitors observe today in Crystal Palace Park. (The mould was used in the casting process for the statue. It does not survive.) I make reference to this 1862 letter and sketch by Waterhouse Hawkins. In this post, I show the letter and provide a transcription.
This letter is one side of one page. In the upper right corner of the page is written “215” in pencil in a different hand. The document is bound into a collection of materials relating to Crystal Palace at Sydenham. “215” was added later to serve as pagination in this collection. The inciting enquiry from Trimmer is not included in this collection.
August 27 1862
My dear Sir,
In reply to your enquiry as to which of my models of the gigantic Extinct animals in the Crystal Palace Park at Sydenham I had converted into a table à manger, I send you herewith a graphic answer in a miniature sketch of the Iguanodon as he appeared with his brains in and his belly full on the 31 of Decr 1853 and if you are further interested in the details of my whimsical feast you will find a good report in the London Illustrated News of Jany 7 1854 and its proprietor the late Mr Ingram was among the Press [?] of guests on that occasion; I had the pleasure of seeing around me many of the heads of science among whom in the head of the Iguanodon was Professor Owen and the late Professor Ed. Forbes. With eighteen other friends we were all very jolly to meet the New Year 1854.
my dear Sir your obliged
B Waterhouse Hawkins
Ed Trimmer Esq
R Coll Surgeons of England
Source: British Library Manuscripts Add MS 50150 (1852-1941). Papers relating to the Crystal Palace, f.215.
Correction: “London Illustrated News” is The Illustrated London News.