FALVEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY

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Birds, Fish, and Exotic Animals

Birds, Fish, and Exotic Animals




 

Monkey Thief

The Illustrated Police News, Law-Courts and Weekly Record, Vol. 26, No. 656, selection from front cover, May 24 1879, published by Police News Pub. House: Boston, USA

This humorous illustration depicts the account of a “pet monkey set loose to attack passer-by for the amusement of depraved women” in New York City.[1] In the eighteenth century, certain exotic animals, such as monkeys, became luxury pets for the well-to-do. The commentary on the act places the blame on the “demi-monde” – women of dubious morality – who as the owners of the pet, the property, are held responsible for all actions of their chattel.[2]

 

 

Raven Ralph's Alphabet

Grimm’s Household Stories, selection from p. 109, nineteenth century, Grimm, Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm, published by George Munro's Sons: New York, USA

A young woman saves this intelligent creature, whom she names Ralph, from a group of cruel boys. Already a great teacher, the woman teaches the bird to speak, spell, and read, as she later teaches a pigeon to spell and read. While perhaps not representative of the pretty songbirds of popular pet culture, this raven does show how many bird owners trained their pets to perform certain humanesque tricks.

 

References

[1] The Illustrated Police News, Law-Courts and Weekly Record, Vol. 26, No. 656, selection from front cover, May 24 1879, published by Police News Pub. House: Boston, USA

[2] Ibid.