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Primate Genre, Monkey and Dog, A Close Calculation, Kellogg, Ensign & Thayer, Connecticut, Antique Print, 1852-53


A Close Calculation
E.C. Kellogg, New York and Hartford, Connecticut, and Ensign & Thayer, Buffalo, New York: 1852-53
Hand-colored lithograph
10 x 15 inches overall

A humorous American genre print, subtitled Don’t you wish you may get it, depicting a monkey teasing an alert hunting dog that is chained to the wall by offering the tip of its tail but holding it just out of reach. Seated on a stone step, the monkey is clearly enjoying the game with a smile on its face. The scene takes place in front of a wood plank wall upon which hangs a jacket and cap with a feather. A wooden tub of water is on the ground beside the dog; a pitcher and patterned cloth are beside the monkey. A Gothic Revival house is across the road is in the background.

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The Connecticut Historical Society, which has an example of this print in its collection. According to Kellogg expert Nancy Finlay the phrase “Don’t you wish you may get it?” also occurs in the script of the Punch and Judy show as published in London Labour and the London Poor by Henry Mayhew in 1851. Kellogg published another print on a on a similar theme, also in the Connecticut Historical Society collection; it shows a monkey teasing a terrier by holding the dog by the tail and a dead rat just out of its reach.

Additional publication information beneath the ruled border below right is faded and difficult to decipher but probably says Ensign, Thayer & Co. 127 Main St. Buffalo. The two companies apparently co-published it. Kellogg issued other prints with different publishers.

The Kelloggs were lithographers active in Hartford, Connecticut, New York City and Buffalo, New York. They produced an immense number of black-and-white and hand-colored lithographs during the 19th century, second only to their contemporaries and competitors Currier & Ives. The Connecticut Historical Society has almost 1,000 lithographs by the Kelloggs in their collection, including sentimental scenes, views of towns and buildings, portraits and historical scenes such as Civil War battles.

The Kellogg firm was founded by Daniel Wright Kellogg (1807-1874), who pioneered publishing inexpensive and popular lithographs in the United States under the name D.W. Kellogg & Co. in Hartford about 1833. Around 1843. he was joined by his brothers Edmund Burke Kellogg (1809-1872) and Elijah Chapman Kellogg (1811-1881), who began trading as E.B. and E.C. Kellogg. Edmund had a background as a journalist and editor and Elijah was trained as an engraver; he also was one of the first in the U.S. to breed trout artificially and wrote treatises on fish culture. Their firm was headquartered at 136 Main Street in Hartford until 1852. The Kelloggs also had offices in New York with Horace Thayer in (1846-47), J.G. Comstock (1849-52), and thereafter without partners until about 1860. Charles E. Kellogg, son of E.B., joined the business in 1860. In 1871, William Henry Bulkeley joined the firm and undertook a major reorganization of the business into a successful printing house called Kellogg & Bulkeley, specializing in colorful chromolithographs. The firm later merged with Case, Lockwood & Brainard to form Connecticut Printers in 1947.

The publishing firm Humphrey Phelps (also known as Phelps, Humphrey) operated in New York City from the 1830s to the 1850s, at various times co-publishing work with Ensign & Thayer. They produced maps, prints and books, and are known for the “Phelps Guides” series of folding maps and wall maps for travelers, which Phelps began producing in 1838. Timothy and Edward Ensign were partners in a New York City lithography firm that worked in various associations and alignments with Humphrey Phelps, B.W. Thayer, the Kelloggs, Bridgman and Fanning between 1841 and 1861, producing prints and maps.

Publication information lower left: Lith. of E.C. Kellogg, 87 Fulton St. N. York & 73 Main St. Hartford, Conn. Numbered 345 below title.

Condition:  Generally very good, recently professionally cleaned and deacidified with only light remaining toning and wear.


“A Close Calculation.” Connecticut Historical Society. 2021.;jsessionid=438C75AE5B0A26B479385631B03B94D4 (5 November 2021).

“Connecticut’s Currier & Ives: Lithographs by the Kellogg Brothers.” Connecticut Historical Society. 2002. (9 June 2004).

“Don’t You Wish You May Get It?” Connecticut Historical Society. 2021.;jsessionid=438C75AE5B0A26B479385631B03B94D4 (5 November 2021).

Finlay, Nancy (ed.) and Kate Steinway. Picturing Victorian America: Prints by the Kellogg Brothers of Hartford, Connecticut, 1830-1880. Hartford, CT: Connecticut Historical Society, 2010.

Finlay, Nancy. “Some Evidence for the Sale and Distribution of Kellogg Prints.” Ninth Annual Conference of the Program in Early American Economy and Society, Philadelphia, PA. 25 October 2010. p. 6. Online at–%2010%20conf%20Finlay%20paper.pdf (11 September 2017).

“Kellogg Prints: Kellogg and Bulkeley.” Connecticut Historical Society. 2002. (9 June 2004).

Peters, Harry T. America on Stone. U.S.: Doubleday, Doran, 1931. pp. 181, 242-247, and 325.

Additional information


19th Century