Three Hares News, October 2017

Since its publication in April 2016, our book 'The Three Hares, A Curiosity Worth Regarding', has received orders from all over the world. We have currently posted to Australia and Tasmania, New Zealand, Hong Kong, China, Kuwait, Israel, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Italy, Luxembourg, Finland, Denmark, Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the USA and Canada.

A favourable view in the New Scientist in 2016, followed by an interview on the BBC World Service, sparked off huge interest and since then all three authors have continued to give illustrated talks on the subject, with Sue travelling as far away as the Yarmouk Cultural Centre, Kuwait in May 2017 to present a lecture on the motif. Our latest appearance on Radio was in June where the Three Hares Project contributed to the Programme 'Hare', produced by Sarah Blunt, BBC Bristol and presented by Brett Westwood on BBC Radio 4

There is a roof boss in a church in Devon of three hares running after one another in a circle. Whilst three hares can be clearly seen and each hare has two ears, when you count the ears there are only three. What does this motif mean and where else can it be found? All is revealed when Brett Westwood goes in search of the truth about the elusive and magical Mad March Hare, learns about an ancient coin bearing the image of a hare, and has an unforgettable encounter with several wild hares on a Norfolk farm.

But despite the encouraging publicity and an artefact discovered in the al Sabah Collection, no further sightings have been reported, which leaves us mystified as to where the motif began. But information has come in, and I was delighted to hear from Wolfgang Stueken, a retired journalist in Paderborn, Germany. I had travelled to Paderborn on my own in October 2015 to take additional photographs for the book and was intrigued to hear that since my visit the garden adjoining the cathedral cloister has been redesigned to give the public a better view of the window. (Sadly the original window was smashed by allied bombing during World War II and the surviving pieces are now housed in the Diocesan Museum).

© Chris Chapman 2015


Photos: © Wolfgang Stueken, Paderborn 2017

Wolfgang wrote to me on July 10th 2017 with his photographs and also gave me the following information which will be of interest:
'Here in Paderborn we have the final day of the annual "Schuetzenfest". It's a traditional celebration in our region. The history of this shooting club (more than 3,000 members) goes back to 1821. The association has five companies, and one of the companies has the Three Hares with a coat of arms of the city as a sleeves emblem on their uniforms since many years. This company has the name of the old Kings Road in Paderborn, Koenigstraße, and is called Königssträßer Kompanie.


'Schuetzenfest' poster, Koenigstraesser Kompanie, Paderborn, Germany.

The Three Hares emblem is also on the front page of the annual company magazine, 'Blauer Schmus', which is always printed when the Schuetzenfest is celebrated. 'Blauer Schmus' could be translated as 'Blue prattle'. Blue is the colour of this company because the springs of the River Pader are located in that part of the city and where most of the members of the Koenigstraesser Company live.

The front page of the 2017 edition of the annual magazine: 'Blauer Schmus'


The Paderborn bicycle company, Triepad, wasn't the only firm to use the the Three Hares cloister window in Paderborn Cathedral, Germany as their logo. I came across this invoice slip, dated 6th February 1901, after the book was published.

Soon after the book was published we were sent this intriguing 'Trademark' from Bob and Ellen Watters who live in British Columbia, Canada:


Ellen Watters wrote to me again recently with the following information:

My great-great grandfather, John E Haire was born in Kells, a village near Ballymena in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. He emigrated and went to the United States as a teen and his family followed. They settled in Michigan near Grand Rapids and had a home on the riverside in Georgetown west of there. So far, I have not discovered who the John O. Haire was on the Lightning Healer trademark. I suspect he was related since the item was in my grandmother's effects. It could have been anytime around or after the 1870s.

Your German connection (I wrote to Ellen to ask if the family had links to Germany) is interesting. My grandmother was the daughter of Mary Elizabeth Haire (John's daughter) and Eugene Weatherwax. The Weatherwax extended family had a number of properties around Georgetown. They were descendants of the Weiderwach family that emigrated from Germany in the early 1700s. So there was a fairly strong German influence in the neighbourhood. I will continue to keep an eye open for anything that will throw light on its history.
All the best, Ellen (Davidson) Watters


A steamboat race passing Haire Farm, Haires Landing, Ottawa County, Michigan, USA in 1869




A ‘Three Hares’ Bowl in the al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait by Sue Andrew

Recently a bowl with three hares sharing ears was purchased by the al-Sabah Collection in Kuwait. The Collection has several other three and four hare artefacts in glass, ceramic, metalwork, and leather. The bowl is believed to date to the 10th or 11th century, and was reportedly found in Balkh or Maimana, Afghanistan. It measures 33 cm in diameter and 11.7 cm in height. The Curator of the al-Sabah Collection, Sue Kaoukji, to whom we are grateful for the image and information, suggests that the fish on the bowl may be sturgeon, adding an unusual and intriguing dimension to the three hares motif. The bowl has been broken and is awaiting sensitive conservation.



Three Hares by Barbara Janssen, Church of St Stephen, Exeter, Devon

Every Tuesday I take my elderly mother out for the day. Although disabled she enjoys her independence. After church and breakast in Sidmouth I then take her to Exeter where for two hours she roams the shops on her own. If I have no shopping to do I like to explore this wonderful city and one day I wandered into the Church of St Stephens on the High Street. Founded in Anglo-Saxon times the exterior retains its late medieval character whilst inside the church has recently undergone a sensitive refurbishment. Hanging from its columns are a set of delightful banners and needless to say this one caught my eye. It was produced by Barbara Janssen, an Exeter based Quilter.


And finally to mark my 65th birthday, I received this card from Tom and Lis Greeves. It made me chuckle. Simon Drew is a talented artist who owns a gallery in Dartmouth, Devon. His witty, sideways take on life has become world famous.

Chris Chapman
© The Three Hares Project, November 2017

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