Jumbo

Jumbo

£975

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Product Description

Medium used – original in liquid acrylic and gouache on boxed canvas

Small Print – size 120 x 80 cm with limited run of 250

History’s most famous elephant resided in Victorian times at London Zoo for 17 years. He was born in 1860 and lived at the Zoo from 1865 but was sold in 1882 to the Barnum & Bailey American Circus, the most famous circus in the world. After 17 years of literally being a super star at London Zoo, he went on to travel the USA and Canada.

Jumbo ‘craze’ continued in America. The crowds that welcomed Jumbo to New York, where he landed by ship were unprecedented, but were no less so than those that watched his sad departure in London. The crowds there were referred to as having “Jumbo Mania”. The public became so attached to Jumbo that this adored elephant encouraged tens of thousands to visit the Zoo every day. He was called the ‘children’s favorite’ or more simply the ‘giant elephant’. At the Zoo, he gave rides to the public throughout his life, but as he was a male elephant, he would go into “musth” and have fits of rage in his enclosure at night  The expense of repairing the cage led to the Zoo having to sell him. Matthew Scott, Jumbo’s keeper, was the only person who could manage the elephant and he accompanied Jumbo to the American circus and continued looking after him. The two were completely inseparable.

The popularity of Jumbo made him a household name. Now ‘Jumbo’ means something very large and is considered one of the largest names to use. It led to the naming of the ‘Jumbo Jet’ and references like Jumbo Sausages. Aspects of Jumbo’s life were immortalized in the Walt Disney film Dumbo. The origin of the name Jumbo comes from the Swahili word “Jambo” meaning Hello and “Jumbe” meaning Chief. Illustrated In the painting is the Circus big top, the American Flag the English Flag in reference to Jumbo becoming famous on both sides of the ‘pond’. There is also Matthew Scott his keeper, Jumbo Jets, Jumbo Sausages in gold and ‘Dumbo’ From the Disney Film – all inspired by Jumbo.

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