Lord Bodner Octopus - From the Depths
About the Artwork
The legend has it that the octopus was originally printed in 1826 by Lord Bodner in London after studying creatures of the deep. However, this unfortunately is where the quality of the existing prints for sale by others and truth began to really degrade the integrity of the art.
The reality is that Lord Bodner was actually printing a lower-grade replica of the infamous kraken known to haunt the Lochs of Scotland as well as the Outer Hebrides in the Scottish Highlands. The truth about this specific print we are selling is that this octopus had been discovered by the captain of Merchant Maritime vessels upon a deep-sea diving excursion to locate apothecary remedies to treat an undisclosed condition that had been plaguing the Royal Monarchy for several generations.
The Captain, Duke Bramford Ballantine launched the expedition in 1812 on the summer evening of 19 July. Duke Ballantine and his crew had dropped anchor, prepared their coordinates to extract the pollen of sea urchins to use as a homeopathic remedy of sea life extracted eye drops to cure the ocular imprints that had been staining the vision of only members of the British royal family after drinking water that was pinpointed to have been filtered from the River Seine in France. The French were thought to have been poisoning members of the monarchy discreetly without a clue of the royal family for decades.
After Duke Ballantine's seventh military diver had deployed into the depths of the Irish Sea, he abruptly began to notice a 'great swirl and a nine levy high swell' starboard. Ballantine pulled each man's chain attached to their diving equipment to get them to halt their descent and have them alternatively ascend as quickly as possible to get back onboard the ship, however, at this point, it was too late. Out of the sea arose a great power and what Duke Ballantine would later describe as 'a force more mighty than eighty steam engines pulling the hills of Glen Coe into Edinburgh on a wintry night'.
Now standing near the bow of the ship, Duke Ballantine was said to have gripped the anchor with all abandon as the octopus, now known as Macrocosmus, lurched tentacle, by tentacle above the bubbling sea. Ballantine and several shipmates were reported to have looked the sea beast directly in its eyes as they ascended beyond the foam that covered the surface of the water.
Witnesses said Duke Ballantine at this juncture responded with instinct and turned the ship so hard that all crew aboard concluded the vessel had collided with the Giant's Steps off the coast of Northern Ireland. History leaves it that 90% of the crew were thrown into the cold salty water and either drowned or were swallowed by the ferocity of Macrosumus who soon violently dove deep into an abyss of dark blue, never having been seen again.
Having survived the destruction at sea, Duke Ballantine sat with an affiliate to the Ashmolean years later and gave an accurate depiction of what would later become this print of Macrocosmus to the lithographic curators. The final print was lost shortly after the War of 1812 when the British were hiding their art so as not to be destroyed by opposing forces. The illustration was found perfectly preserved in a farmhouse's wine cellar near Normandy not long after the end of the war. Apparently, what I've been told by an anonymous source familiar with Duke Ballantine and of the original print is that Lord Bodner, to earn prestige at the time, had an artist recreate the work as his own to earn fame and recognition, while never citing the true source.
Apparently, the disaster at sea was covered up by the monarchy as they did not want the purpose of the expedition to be public knowledge as it would reveal the history of their health issues and also that they had been embarrassed by French espionage. As for Duke Ballantine, he later died in battle in 1826 during the Zulu Wars of Conquest. He was buried at sea.....off the coast of the Isle of Skye and his body was said to have been swept away by a rushing rogue current.
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