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Nofin

Which story...?

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Hi All,

I am an MA student at the RCA and am writing my dissertation on silversmithing. I remember reading a Sherlock story in which he deduces a client is a butler by the blackness of his thumb from polishing silver cutlery but I can't find it. Can anyone help? 

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1 hour ago, Nofin said:

Hi All,

I am an MA student at the RCA and am writing my dissertation on silversmithing. I remember reading a Sherlock story in which he deduces a client is a butler by the blackness of his thumb from polishing silver cutlery but I can't find it. Can anyone help? 

Hi, Noffin,

I believe you are referring to "The Musgrave Ritual" in which the main suspect is a butler.  I recall no other canon stories that feature a butler so you might start there.

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Hi Hikari,

I'll check it out! I seem to recall that the butler was the client at the beginning of the story rather than the suspect, but it was a while ago that I read it. (I'm have all the stories but they are packed in boxes back at home)

Thanks,

Nofin

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Hi, Nofin, and welcome to Sherlock Forum!  :welcome:

I believe that all of Conan Doyle's original Holmes stories are available online, often on several sites.  In order to find one, just Google (for example):

"Musgrave Ritual" text

... and scan the resulting list for likely sites, such as this one.  You may have to look at a few sites before you find one that does have the text of the story (rather than a discussion of it), but once you do, you can use your browser's search function to check for key words.

I have searched "The Musgrave Ritual" for "silver," "polish," and "thumb" with no results.  "Butler" does of course bring up numerous hits, but I'm reasonably certain that Brunton is not the butler you're looking for.

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Thanks Carol, I will give that a try. My plan B is to read through the Complete Sherlock Holmes again which, to be honest, is not a bad way to spend winter evenings...

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On 1/2/2019 at 10:57 AM, Nofin said:

Hi Hikari,

I'll check it out! I seem to recall that the butler was the client at the beginning of the story rather than the suspect, but it was a while ago that I read it. (I'm have all the stories but they are packed in boxes back at home)

Thanks,

Nofin

I'll have another think, and consult the Oracle, otherwise known as Herlock Sholmes.

There is a possibility that Holmes consulted with a client who was a valet rather than a butler, now that I think about it.  I'll see what turns up.  Butlers and valets have very similar training and often stand in for one another but a valet is a personal man-servant to a gentleman and is primarily concerned with Sir's wardrobe maintenance.  He might also clean his Lordship's guns, or the occasional silver.  You've intrigued me to get on the hunt!

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It's also possible that the deduction in question comes from a Holmes pastiche, rather than from an actual Conan Doyle story.  But in any case, I agree, it's time to rattle Herlock's cage -- he's been absent far too long!

 

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I'm not sure if its the story you are looking for, but Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of The Pigtail Twist by MJH Simmonds seems to have some reference to silver polish on a footman's shirt in chapter 4. 

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Thanks Bedelia, I will check that out but I'm pretty certain that I have not read that book.

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9 hours ago, Nofin said:

Thanks Bedelia, I will check that out but I'm pretty certain that I have not read that book.

Even if it's not the story you had in mind, might it serve your purpose in the dissertation?

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Nofin,

I've found this on YouTube . . "The Adventure of the Unfortunate Valet".  Sounds entertaining, if one is willing to sit through the egregious product placement for 'Clippercraft Suits'.

I'm wondering if this what you are thinking of.  If it is, I regret to tell you that this is NOT an original Conan Doyle but was created for this radio programme.

 

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Nope, no silver polish in that story.

I do wonder, though, how often the announcer might have tripped over the phrase "Clipper Craft Clothes" -- reminds me of the little skit they did on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show when Jack Webb was the guest.  (Note for non-US folks:  The skit was a parody of Webb's cop show, Dragnet.)

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On 1/6/2019 at 12:54 AM, Carol the Dabbler said:

Nope, no silver polish in that story.

I do wonder, though, how often the announcer might have tripped over the phrase "Clipper Craft Clothes" -- reminds me of the little skit they did on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show when Jack Webb was the guest.  (Note for non-US folks:  The skit was a parody of Webb's cop show, Dragnet.)

I confess I didn't sit through all of this.  I bailed after the 10th occurrence of 'Clippercraft Suits'.

I am not a BSI or anything, but to the best of my recollection, having been through the entire Canon in the last year or so is that there is no client of this description that appears  in an original Conan Doyle story.    The one Noffin is searching for may exist as a 'Sherlock' pastiche, but no Casebook story is coming to mind with a valet.  The 60 original stories are (sadly) pretty finite . . the stock of potential pastiches that *could* feature a butler using silver polish are, if not infinite, a whole lot more so than what Sir Arthur left us.  I will ask David Marcum, Chief American Curator of extra-Canonical Holmes Adventures, but the chances of him getting back to me before Noffin has to get the dissertation turned in are pretty slim!

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How many pages left?

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About half done then.   :applause:

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Hello all,

To be honest I can’t recall the reference. I don’t have any books with me to look through either. The most famous butler in the Holmes stories is, as Hikari mentioned, Brunton in The Musgrave Ritual But Holmes already knew him and so didn’t need to make any kind of deduction. I have a notoriously poor memory but I have to say that I can’t recall a case where the client was a butler. As has already been mentioned perhaps it was a pastiche. When I’m back home I’ll check up.

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Hi Herlock, 

I'm now at page 954 of the Penguin Complete Sherlock Holmes and no sign of my butler yet. I am starting to think it must have been an imitator...

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I think so Nofim. I’ve been trying to think of any tv or movie adaptations that it might have been from but none come to mind. A pastiche seems the likeliest candidate and there are so many of them that I’ve only read a very tiny fraction. 

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Hi all, I finished the complete collection and no butler. It must have been a pastiche, but from where I don't know as I always remembered it as the genuine article. It wasn't vital information but just something to add a little colour to what will probably be a very dry academic paper. Thanks for your suggestions. If I find it I will let you know.

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