“Following the approved practice, two large vases, containing ‘a representative sample of contemporary items’, were deposited in the pedestal [of Cleopatra’s Needle, on Thames Embankment]. ‘The mere list of these objects,’ declared the Saturday Review, ‘must provoke a smile.’ It was certainly well-calculated to have this effect, for, among them, were a Bible, a translation of the hieroglyphics on the column, a portrait of the Queen, a standard set of weights and measures, a Whitaker’s Almanack, a Bradshaw’s railway-guide, a Post Office directory, a ‘Mappin’s shilling razor’, an ‘Alexandra feeding-bottle, as used in the Royal nurseries’, and ‘photographs of twelve pretty Englishwomen’. Altogether, a mixed assortment.”
Horace Wyndham, This Was The News : An Anthology Of Victorian Affairs (1948)
Is all that stuff still there, entombed in vases beneath the Needle?