1865 – Chum and the Bell


This simple but superbly executed drawing is entitled “Chum and the Bell” and is taken from “Animal Sagacity”, edited by Mrs S.C.Hall, published by S.W.Partridge, circa 1866. The story of “Chum”, a handsome black retriever, owned by a Mr Dodwell of Eversham, is a long one, full of anecdotes of his remarkable intelligence, his obedience, his ability to be trained and carry out a multitude of tasks. The drawing is used to demonstrate just one of his remarkable feats. It illustrates how he had learned to know when it was 6 o’clock in the morning, when he would take up the thong of the bell in his mouth,and taking it upstairs, would ring it at all the bedroom doors; along the passage, and so rouse the apprentices and others.  This incident, among others we are told, was reported in the April number, 1865, of the “Band of Hope Review”.  What the image also tells us, is that Harrison Weir had a remarkable knowledge of the physiology of the dog, as the drawing shows the true structure of the animal, with the hair indicating the skeletal structure beneath; and sublimely, the lighting indicating the shine of the coat, and thereby the contour of the body. It is essentially a simple drawing, but it is sublime it is representation of the subject matter, just as a simple melody is a breathe of fresh air to the ears, so too a simple drawing can be music to the eye. Available in A4, A3 and A2 sizing options.


Detail: 1865 Chum and the Bell, by Harrison Weir        Book Cover: Animal Sagacity edited by Mrs S C Hall

Detail: 1865 – Chum and the Bell                             Book Cover:  Animal Sagacity, edited by Mrs S.C.Hall

Detail: 1865 Chum and the Bell, by Harrison Weir

Detail: Artist and Engravers marks (1865 – Chum and the Bell)


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