Monday, July 25, 2016

What do you do with an elephant like this?

Nelly taking her gun caisson for a walk

I picked this elephant drawn gun from John Cunningham last year and I've been meaning to get around to it for quite some time. I finally bit the bullet and started putting it together.

I was about half way through when I realise it had somehow become separated from it's gun, which I'm sure will turn up, but the other thing that was confusing me was how exactly to attach the traces. There is a leather strap that goes under the Elephants tail, the use of which is clear enough, however I was a bit perplexed at the purpose of the two dangling straps either side of the tail.

Having looked at a number of pictures, I realised that the artists and photographers of the past were unaccountably less than taken with recording the finer details of elephants bottoms. But we soldier on.

I eventually found this illustration which shows them being used to hold the traces connecting the caisson to the elephant.  The elephant on the left in the background is probably the best illustration of that. I'm quite happy to have solved that particular mystery - rather than trying to bodge something and making a fool of myself.

There are now of course, new opportunities to make a fool of myself. But I will at least be a fool with an elephant.

And that is no small thing.


  1. Useful bit of research and a rather cool looking elephant.

  2. Conrad
    It's a fine looking model and an excellent solution. I wish you well in your future arguments wit the Elephant backside trolls of the internet.

  3. Splendid detective work, loving the look of Nellie already, can't wait to see her painted.

  4. All elephants are good elephants. Much like dogs.