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to enclose à square. Two other sides have also been finished ; and in so forward a state is the new edifice, that nearly all the contents of the old Museum have now been transferred thither. The street front is nearly completed, and when all the works now in progress shall have been finished, the British Museum will unquestionably be the grandest national establishment in the metropolis, and one of the first in Europe.
Crossing the spacious court-yard, the visitor gains admission by the principal entrance, under the portico of the South Facade, by a carved oak door, nine feet wide, and twenty-four feet high.
The Entrance Hall is of the Grecian Doric order sixty-two feet by fifty-one feet, and thirty feet high. The ceiling is trabeated (cross beamed), deeply coffered, and enriched with Greek frets, and other ornaments, painted in encaustic, in various colours, most harmoniously blended: the large gold star upon a blue ground, in the centre of each coffer, has a superb effect. The floor is laid with large squares of Portland stone, and small grey marble diamonds at their angles.
At the western extremity of the Hall is the Principal Staircase. The centre flight is seventeen feet wide, and is flanked by pedestals of grey Aberdeen granite, upon which will be placed colossal sculpture. The walls on either side of this centre flight are cased with red Aberdeen granite, highly polished. On the first landing are two beautiful vases, on pedestals, of Huddlestone stone, and the balustrades are of the same material. The walls and ceiling are painted in oil, and in encaustic colours; and the ceiling is trabeated, coffered, and decorated to harmonise with the Entrance Hall. These decorations have been executed by Messrs. Collman and Davies.
At the top of the Grand Staircase, commence the suite of Rooms appropriated to, natural history, the arrangements of which are now nearly completed. These galleries occupy, on the upper floor, the eastern portion of
the south front, and the whole of the eastern and northern sides of the quadrangle, and are divided into five Jistinct parts, all of which, except the first (still incomplete), are now open to the public:1. The Botanical Museum, 4. The Northern Zoological 2. The Mammalia Gallery, Gallery, 3. The Eastern Zoological 5. The Northern or Mineral
Gallery. The collection of animals has been greatly increased within the last few years, at a vast annual expense; and being admirably arranged under the superintendence of its indefatigable curators, Messrs. Konig and Gray, may now, both for extent and beauty of exhibition, vie with the first museums of continental Europe. .
opened as a separate department in 1807, originally consisted only of the marbles formerly belonging to the late Mr. Townley and Sir Hans Sloane, some few monuments from Egypt ceded at the capitulation of Alexandria, and the vases, curiosities, &c., recovered from Pompeii, and Herculaneum (cities burned A.D. 79, during an eruption of Vesuvius) and purchased from Sir W. Hamilton. This collection, however, has been subsequently so much enlarged, partly by presents and bequests, but chiefly by purchase (at a cost exceeding £80,000), from the Earl of Elgin, Messrs. Salt, Sams, Durand, Brondsted, Campanari, &c., that it has become one of the most valuable and extensive galleries in Europe.
The entrance to this department is by a door to the Jeft of the principal entrance; it occupies, on the groundfloor, the south-western and western portion of the quadrangle, and is thus arranged :1. The Townley Gallery, 4. The Phigalian Saloon, 2. The Lycian Room, 5. The Elgin Saloon, 3. The Grand Central Sa- 6. The Egyptian Saloon, loon,
7. The Ante-Room. Leaving the Ante-Room to the Egyptian Saloon, the visitor will ascend, at the north-west angle, a spacious flight of stairs leading to the Western Gallery, in which the smaller Egyptian, Greek, and Roman Antiquities are arranged as follows :1. The Vestibule,
4. The Etruscan Room, 2. The Egyptian Room, 5. The Ethnographical 3. The Bronze Room,
Room. Open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, between the hours of ten and four, from the 7th of September to the 1st of May; and between the hours of ten and seven, from the 7th of May to the 1st of September. Admission Free. Persons applying for the purpose of study or research are admitted to the Reading Rooms every day, from nine o'clock in the morning until four in the afternoon, between the 7th of September and the
1st of May; and until seven in the evening between the 7th of May and the 1st of September. Artists are admitted to study in the Galleries of Sculpture, between the hours of nine and four, every day except Saturday. The Museum is closed from the 1st to the 7th of January, the 1st to 7th of May, aud the 1st to 7th of September, inclusive ; on Ash-Wednesday, Good-Friday, and Christmas-day, and also on any special Fast or Thanksgiving Day, ordered by authority. The synopsis of the contents of the British Museum, one shilling: Clarke's Hand Book Guide, sixpence.
The contents of the Medal and Print Rooms can be seen only by very few persons at a time, and by partis cular permission.