English, est. 1793
Comport, from the dessert service Viscount Milton, c. 1867
14.6 x 23.5 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with funds from Drs. Morris C. and Jacqui F.C. Shumiatcher and the Estate of Annette and Bessie Rosenberg in memory of their parents Isaac Aaron Rosenberg and Rebecca Rosenberg
This comport is part of the spectacular Viscount Milton dessert service, commemorating the overland expedition across northwestern Canada between 1862 and 1863 of William Wentworth Fitzwilliam, Viscount Milton (1839–1877) and Dr. William Butler Cheadle (1836–1910). Only two services were made, one for Viscount Milton and one for Cheadle. This arduous and challenging journey was published as The North West Passage by Land (1865) by Cheadle, based on his diary entries, his drawings, and the photographs taken en route. These same illustrations form the basis of the service’s imagery, with each vessel displaying a different scene from the perilous adventure. This particular scene shows an Assiniboine First Nations guide rescuing one of the group’s horses, Bucephalus, from drowning. The other horse was not so fortunate. Bucephalus, incidentally, had been carrying Cheadle’s diary and drawings at the time of the rescue.