D'Jeck the Thespian Elephant: a good pottery nursery plate printed in black with a named study entitled 'The Great Performer of the Adelphi', circa 1830, 155mm Illustrated * Mademoiselle d'Jeck, a performing elephant, achieved celebrity status at the Cirque Olympique in Paris during 1829. She went on to make her British debut at the Adelphi Theatre, London on 3rd December that year and subsequently toured the country. In August 1830 during an overnight stop in the town of Morpeth, whilst travelling from Edinburgh to Newcastle, she killed Jean Baptiste her keeper. Notwithstanding the fact she was an elephant Mademoiselle d'Jeck was committed for trial in Newcastle where she was fined just five shillings on account of Baptiste's alleged cruelty. Appearing on stage in America in January 1831 she returned to Britain in the July of that year. With an otherwise undisclosed violent temperament she went on to injure or kill a number of other humans in Europe in consequence of which it was in Geneva in June 1837 that she was put to death by the use of a circus cannon, rifle shorts having failed. This whole farcical yet ultimately sad tale was recounted by the November Club at the Theatre Royal, London in 2013 and remains today one of the strangest trials on record. See Commemorative Pottery, plate 21 and Antiques Trade Gazette, 16th December 2017 issue, page 44 for a related article.
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