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The Bone Player
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While he rattled a couple of bones

While he rattled a couple of bones
[left]: Segment from an Illustration by Henry Holiday to Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark (1876).

[right, mirror view]: The Bone Player (1856) by William Sidney Mount, now displayed in MFA, Boston.

· · 513· · He was black in the face, and they scarcely could trace
· · 514· · · · The least likeness to what he had been:
· · 515· · While so great was his fright that his waistcoat turned white-
· · 516· · · · A wonderful thing to be seen!

· · 517· · To the horror of all who were present that day.
· · 518· · · · He uprose in full evening dress,
· · 519· · And with senseless grimaces endeavoured to say
· · 520· · · · What his tongue could no longer express.

· · 521· · Down he sank in a chair--ran his hands through his hair--
· · 522· · · · And chanted in mimsiest tones
· · 523· · Words whose utter inanity proved his insanity,
· · 524· · · · While he rattled a couple of bones.

Mahendra Singh guided me to this painting. I found a painting depicting a bone player in his blog which Mahendra used to tell us something about the bone ratteling Banker. Mahendra is a professional illustrator who not only is one of the few curageous and curious Snark hunters, but also (like Holiday) a very gifted architect of Snark conundrums in his own right. Just look at his own illustrations to his Snark edition (2010).

Mount painted The Bone Player after receiving a commission from the printers Goupil and Company for two pictures of African-American musicians to be lithographed (e.g. by Jean-Baptiste Adolphe Lafosse) for the European market. These became the last in a series of five life-size likenesses of musicians that Mount executed between 1849 and 1856.

Could Henry Holiday have seen that lithograph? In London, Goupil & Cie was established by Ernest Gambart. 17 Southampton Street. Moved to 25 Bedford Street, Strand in 1875 when Goupil & Cie took over Holloway & Sons and their salerooms. Goupil's manager in London was at this time Charles Obach.

Amy Huddleston has particularly liked this photo

 Götz Kluge
Götz Kluge club
Two Bone Players
7 years ago. Edited 6 years ago.
 Hans-Georg Kaiser
Hans-Georg Kaiser club
I like it!
7 years ago.
 Götz Kluge
Götz Kluge club
The Flaw was no Flaw
In a 1910 edition of The Hunting of the Snark, an alledged error, which is not an error, had been removed. However, the removed white spot had a reason, as you see in the inset. The inset shows a segment from a 1876 edition with the white spot and a segment from The Bone Player (1856) by William Sidney Mount with a white spot (depicting a reflection from a glass).
6 years ago. Edited 5 years ago.

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