Letters to Ebay Sellers

Using Ebay's buyer-seller communication system, the following text was sent to two Ebay sellers (aquarius182 and harleyboy169) offering imitations of Rheinhold's monkey and falsely attributing its creation to "O. Tupton":


October 14, 2004


Dear Seller of the monkey statuette,


I would like to bring your attention some misinformation associated with your product and its description. It is a well established fact that this motif—a monkey sitting on a pile of books with a human skull in its right hand and a caliper in its right foot—is clearly attributable to Hugo Rheinhold, not O. Tupton, as claimed by you, or Fransisco Ramo, as sometimes claimed by sellers of similar imitations. For more information please visit my website at http://library.uwsp.edu/aschmetz/Rheinhold's_Monkey/Rheinhold's_Monkey_Page.htm. Furthermore, there is no evidence whatsoever that the poem “Darwin’s Mistake” had any impact on Rheinhold when he created this piece of art.


I have addressed your erroneous statements on my website. (http://library.uwsp.edu/aschmetz/Rheinhold's_Monkey/Rheinhold's_Monkey_Page.htm#FAQ2). I would be delighted if I could report, at some later point in time, that you have acknowledged the wrong attribution of your product and its unsubstantiated association with “Darwin’s Mistake,” and that you have set the record straight in your description and advertisement of the monkey statuette.




Dr. Axel Schmetzke

Associate Professor


University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point





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Last updated 11/22/2006.