English School, A silhouette of Mrs William Buckland (née Morland) and her son Francis (1826-1880), full-length, profile to the right in an interior: she holds two fossils; he, seated on a cushion in front of a table beside prehistoric elephant and alligator heads, he reaches towards a butterfly

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 26
English School, A silhouette of Mrs William Buckland (née Morland) and her son Francis (1826-1880), full-length, profile to the right in an interior: she holds two fossils; he, seated on a cushion in front of a table beside prehistoric elephant and alligator heads, he reaches towards a butterfly

Sold for £ 1,015 (US$ 1,355) inc. premium
English School (1828,
A silhouette of Mrs William Buckland (née Morland) and her son Francis (1826-1880), full-length, profile to the right in an interior: she holds two fossils; he, seated on a cushion in front of a table beside prehistoric elephant and alligator heads, he reaches towards a butterfly.

cut-out on card against a watercolour background, , inscribed on the obverse and dated 1828, wood frame with reeded borders and gilded inner slip.
Rectangular, 257mm (10 1/16in) high

Footnotes

  • Mary Morland married in 1825, the Reverend William Buckland (1784-1856) dean of Westminster Cathedral. He was scientifically minded and considered to be the father of modern palaeontology. He was appointed reader in mineralogy in Oxford in 1813 and was first holder of the readership in geology. He was elected fellow of the Royal Society in 1818.

    Their son Francis Trevelyan (Frank) was born in 1826 and inherited his father's interest in Natural History. Training as a surgeon he took a commission as an Assistant Surgeon in the Life Guards and then began to write popular articles on natural history which were published in 1857 to great acclaim as a book entitled Curiosities of Natural History. He was a pioneer of fishery research and from 1859 devoted himself to economic fish culture, improving the cultivation and propagation of a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional food fish.

    Frank was an eccentric and formed a bizarre club in London knows as the ‘Society for the Acclimatisation of Animals in the United Kingdom’. This organisation believed that exotic species should not merely be imported for display in zoos but should be acclimatised, domesticated, and eaten.

    Following his father’s attitudes, he was notorious for experimenting with what he reared and ate, eating kangaroo, buffalo, crocodile, whole roast ostrich, giraffe, porpoise heads, mice on toast, elephant trunk soup, rhinoceros pie, slug soup, and earwigs. He declared that the only things not edible were moles and bluebottles.

    In addition to his menagerie, Frank also kept a collection of relics including a lock of hair from Henry IV and the heel bone of the poet Ben Johnson. The most precious object in Buckland’s reliquary, however, was the embalmed heart of the Sun King, Louis XIV. This had been bequeathed to him by his father, who had purchased it from Lord Harcourt, who in turn had obtained it from French Revolutionary Jacobin defilers of the royal tombs at St. Denis in Paris. Of all his "culinary experiments" perhaps the most appalling was the eating of this embalmed heart. According to an 1886 article in Popular Science Monthly, before disposing of this little bit of history, Buckland is said to have uttered these words, “I have eaten many strange things in my lifetime, but never before have I eaten the heart of a king”. He supposedly dined on it with his friend Capt. Grace, with whom he agreed that the heart tasted better with gravy made from the blood of a marmoset monkey. There is one train of thought that suggests that by consuming the essence of the Sun King, one of history’s greatest epicureans that Frank was making a symbolic act, in a similar way to which cannibals in Papua New Guinea eat the heart of a rival warrior—to acquire the dead man’s desirable qualities.
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories, buyer's premium excluding Cars, Motorbikes, Wine, Whisky and Coin & Medal sales, will be as follows:

Buyer's Premium Rates
27.5% on the first £10,000 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £10,000 up to and including £450,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £450,000 up to and including £4,500,000;
and 14.5% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of £4,500,000.

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

For payment information please refer to the sale catalog.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

App