This drawing, one of the “Elephant Sketches”, depicts DGR's parodic imagination of the Chinese symbol for “elephant”. For further commentary see editorial notes on Elephant with Jar.
The date of the drawing is uncertain. It may be associated with DGR's request to Fanny, in May 1874, that she find a Chinese porcelain pot he wanted. The request apparently put her “in a rage” (see
Fredeman, Correspondence, 74. 100
), and this drawing—it was sketched in a letter—may have been sent to Fanny to soothe her feelings.