Brighton's Royal Pavilion explores history of exotic creatures

Three ‘liger’ cubs bred between a lion and a tigress at the Royal Menagerie, Sandpit Gate, Windsor Great Park - Richard Barrett Davis Image copyright Private collection
Image caption A painting of liger cubs was presented to Royal Pavilion creator King George IV

A new exhibition in Brighton is exploring how animals considered exotic by the Georgians and early Victorians were depicted, kept and presented.

Works on show at the Royal Pavilion include a painting of liger cubs given to King George IV, which will be on public display for the first time.

The cubs - a cross between a tiger and a lion - were born at Windsor in 1824.

The exhibition also tells the story of the first living giraffe in the UK, given to the king as a diplomatic gift.

Image copyright Royal Collection Trust
Image caption The UK's first living giraffe was given to King George IV as a diplomatic gift by the Pasha of Egypt in 1826
Image copyright Royal Pavilion & Museums, B&H
Image caption Cartoonists depicted King George IV and his mistress Lady Conyngham mourning the death of the giraffe

The young female Nubian giraffe arrived in the UK in August 1827 after a long journey from Africa.

Two Egyptian cows were drafted in as wet nurses but she died less than two years later.

Image copyright Royal Pavilion & Museums, B&H
Image caption Animals were a popular device for mocking politicians and royals in Georgian satire and caricatures

The Exotic Creatures exhibition in the Prince Regent Gallery runs until 28 February 2016.

Image copyright Victoria and Albert Museum
Image caption Another highlight of the exhibition is the bronze statue of a rhino named Clara, which toured Europe in the 1740s and 1750s - of which only four survive

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