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Greyfriars Bobby auction – a heartwarming tale or clever marketing ploy?

You may have seen that the prototype cast of the legendary Greyfriars Bobby statue has been consigned to an UK auction.

Greyfriars Bobby, Cast, Plaster, Prototype,

Edinburgh’s most famous bronze is based on the heart-warming story of a faithful dog that remained beside his owner’s grave in the city’s Greyfriars Kirkyard for 14 years.

The tale reached a global audience, with Walt Disney immortalising the protective pooch in his 1961 film of the same name. Bobby’s appeal still remains today, with another film based on his life released in 2006.

However, it appears that the tale may just have been a clever marketing ploy. That is, according to historian Jan Bondeson, who believes that much of the story of Greyfriars Bobby was a myth, created by cemetery curator James Brown and restaurant owner John Traill, in an attempt to drum up business.

But that doesn’t mean the tale is entirely a myth…

While researching, Bondeson discovered that the drawings he had found of Bobby were actually depicting two different dogs. Apparently, the real Bobby – described as an ugly dog – had died in 1867, but was replaced with a pure bred Skye terrier in order to keep the legend alive, explaining his dashing good looks in the statue.

Regardless, it appears those that are trying to scupper Bobby’s good name are already too late. His story has already become part of Edinburgh’s folklore and is unlikely to sway bidders when the cast comes to auction.

by Joe


About paulfrasercollectibles

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