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Questions about Randolph Caldecott
and the R C Soc UK 

We hope that most questions about Randolph and our Society are answered somewhere on this site, or on sites which we have links to.  Click the "Search" button at the top of this page (just under the banner heading "Questions") to look for relevant words or phrases.  But this site does not provide comprehensive lists of all of Randolph's works, let alone the full texts of books which he illustrated.

From time to time, we get asked questions which are of wider interest.  Where possible, we add the answers to the site.  If there is nowhere already suitable for them, we will add them here.  Some questions need their own page, and those which aren't elsewhere are accessible from the buttons at the bottom of this page.

Bronze monkey sculpture, "The Tables turn'd"

The Tables Turn'd  The Tables Turn'd  The Tables Turn'd

In 2002 we received an email from M.S., whose family had once owned a sculpture of a chimpanzee sitting on a pile of books, one of which could be seen to be by Darwin, and examining a human scull.  The sculpture, about 12 inches high, was entitled "The Tables Turned" and had a plate on it indicating that it was by "Randolf Caldecotte" (with the correct birth & death dates for our Randolph).  However, our researches have not yet produced confirmation that Randolph made such a sculpture - although the humour of its subject is very much his style.  It seems that copies were made:

A picture of one copy was used on the back cover of a record album by Ian Brown, entitled "Unfinished Monkey Business".
A photo of Lenin's desk showed another copy of the same sculpture on it.
In Sept 2003, a correspondent from South America kindly sent us the 2nd & 3rd pictures of another copy of this sculpture which are shown above.  There are subtle differences: note especially the calipers held in the chimp's right foot.  This suggests that more than one sculptor produced versions, maybe based on a picture by Randolph which we haven't yet traced? Can anyone help?

M.S. has found out that, contrary to the plaque on the first picture above, one of these sculptures was produced by Hugo Rheinhold.  Thanks to all who have told us about several other websites which mention it:'s_Monkey/Rheinhold's_Monkey_Page.htm which includes Databases of known bronze copies, prices of those which have been sold, and info about a recent flood of cheap plaster copies; where the sculpture is used for the cover of a book;
The copy on Lenin's desk, together with a picture of the desk and info about several other copies in medical schools worldwide, are mentioned on the Harvard Medical School website:
This has much info about Hugo Rheinhold, and says "The first known piece of his work, [this statue,] which achieved great acclaim, was shown at the Great Exhibition in Berlin in 1892."

If anyone can tell us any more about Randolph Caldecott's part in these sculptures, please email us: see bottom of this page.


Q: "I have a Caldecott Picture Book, but don't know when it was published.  How can I tell if it is a First Edition?"
A:  See our Editions page.

Caldecott Medal

For websites about the Caldecott Medal (USA), see our Links page.
For the book which won the 2004 Medal, see our March 2004 Meeting page.

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