The remarkable Professor Henry Thomas Harrison

The remarkable Professor Henry Thomas Harrison

Lot 1630 in our July Fine Art sale comprises a group of belt buckles and mounts awarded as prizes to famous Victorian strongman Professor Henry Thomas Harrison.

 

These include an engraved belt buckle, awarded to Henry Harrison engraved with the legend 'for his unrivalled powers in wielding the Indian Clubs, at the Grand National Fete in Lord Hollands Park, 5 & 6th August 1852’, a second engraved belt buckle features an image of Professor Harrison wielding the clubs, taken from a highly significant Illustrated London News article of 14th August 1852. An article which brought the Professor’s feats of strength to the attention of the Victorian public and ignited a craze for exercise. 

 

Lot 1630, Estimate £400 - £600

 

An article by Conor Heferman discusses Professor Harrrison's remarkable contribution to the popularisation of Indian Club exercises in Victorian Britain and the subsequent American adoption: 'Presenting a strong, well proportioned physique, Harrison became the embodiment of what the Clubs could offer. In 1852, the Illustrated London News wrote emphatically that the ‘Professor’ had only begun to train with the clubs three years previously and now sported the following measurements: Round the chest, 37 1/2 inches; Round the upper arm 13 7/8 inches; Round the forearm 13 l/4 inches. Harrison was an advocate of progressive overloading with the Indian Clubs, beginning with 7 pounds in each hand and moving up to “with perfect ease two clubs, each weighing 37 pounds, and his heaviest weighs 47 pounds.” Harrison is a particularly important figure in the history of the Indian Clubs in the West as not only was he honoured by Queen Victoria for his physical prowess with the clubs, he also helped to spread the Indian Club phenomena to the US with the help of Sim D. Kehoe. Harrison’s greatest impact in the British Isles was to help further the profile of the Indian Clubs amongst the general populace. Newspaper reviews of Harrison’s feats and his acknowledgement from Queen Victoria helped to popularize the Clubs throughout England. Soon after the London News piece, Indian Clubs had become a regular part of the exercise for children and adults of both sexes'.

 

Estimated at £400-600 this historic group will be sold on the 3rd July
 

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The remarkable Professor Henry Thomas Harrison

Lot 1630 in our July Fine Art sale comprises a group of belt buckles and mounts awarded as prizes to famous Victorian strongman Professor Henry Thomas Harrison.

 


 

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