Anna Tambour presents           


The virtuous medlar circle
thoroughly bletted


Travels with a Donkey
by Ian Boyter

Robert Louis Stevenson sitting on rocks offering a crust of bread to his donkey 'Modestine', as described in the author's famous travel story "Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes" and influenced by Anna Tambour's short story "Travels with Robert Louis Stevenson in the Cévennes". This is a new sculpture made in 2004. One of a limited edition of 30. Hand-made in Scotland, authenticated by the sculptor, Ian Boyter.


Anna Tambour's Note:

Robert Louis Stevenson is dead, so he wasn't asked his opinion,
when Ian Boyter wrote only to me. Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes is a favourite of his, and then he came upon a different side of the story with my by-line, on infinityplus.
Ian's idea was to show not only what Stevenson thought that 'Modestine', the donkey, thought of him, but to incorporate in her expression, what she thought he thought that she thought and what she thought. Complicated enough in words, but . . .

After explaining his goals, Ian asked for some sort of permission, as if he needed it. There was, of course, nothing to mull over on my part as I contemplated the fiendishly difficult job he had ahead of him, and thought of the cruel enjoyment I would soon have as I felt his artist's pain. 
So with the reputation of 'Modestine' breathing down my neck, I graciously acceded to Boyter's wish. He proceeded, and sent rivetting pics of the sculpture as it took form and developed quirkiness. I admit to getting disgusting tied up in wanting these characters to come to life in a new way, under Ian's fingertips. Or maybe it was their egos whispering in my ears -- Boyter better get this right! His donkey models were a certain 'Pearl' and 'Periwinkle', who do bear a strong resemblance to the real 'Modestine'. And as for Robert Louis Stevenson, it was an exciting state when his head was deemed inaccurate and received radical and probably painful surgery, to end up as he his: the spitting image of the man himself, and as alive as any other author should be. As for their expressions, I can vouch for the satisfaction of at least one of these immortals.

As to this Ian Boyter character, he is a visual artist and designer with an intimidatingly upmarket clientele, such as the Scottish National Trust. His paintings and sculptures are in leading Scottish galleries - and the man's also a professional jazz musician who plays around the world - sax, no less, which means that he could make his living making music with hot air, unlike Bill Clinton or that other failed muso, Tony Mr Third Way (was the second as an angry young artist?) B.

Find him Playing that sax at

Jazz Band Central

Swing Supreme

and now you can listen and watch on You Tube, where he goes by the name of BOPPPPER.

Well, that's enough about Ian Boyter.

As to this now invitingly touchable moment, I think that Boyter did it – he captured the feelings of both characters in one of literature's most charming, or otherwise, journeys.

An Indispensable, limited edition Tonic for the Soul


Yes, it's

Good For You

The Antidote to Literary Snobbism
"Yes, it's cool, isn't it? Who? No, I didn't know. I bought it for
the donkey, the saddlery, those retro boots - and that sensitive face."


Now, wouldn't 'Modestine' and that man she's with look good
looking at you in your
Writing Room
Drawing room or One-room Bedsit
Perched somewhere on your desk
In your private library (unlike your globe,
Travels will never be out-of-date)
In your public library
 Cluttered but Cultured Bedroom


Cold-cast resin with a bronze finish
Dimensions: 35cm x 35cm, weight 9 kilos

or 25  37 13.80 x 13.80 inches, 769.891 19.9 pounds, if you work at NASA


Write to the man
Ian Boyter

The virtuous medlar circle

is part of
Anna Tambour and Others

© Anna Tambour 2004, 2005
"Travels with a Donkey" and all its images are copyright © Ian Boyter 2004, 2005