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Dhuie Russell Tully


Fochabers, Scotland

John Russell's apprentice, John Tully, married Russell's daughter Dhuie, and the husband and wife team continued to carve fish at the Fochabers studio through the 1930's. Dhuie painted nearly all the fish carvings. Very few artisans have created fish carvings equal to John Russell's work. Dhuie's style of painting first appears in 1896 (Swanson, p.148). Perhaps the only exception being John and Dhuie Tully. Tully's intricately carved fins, coupled with Dhuie's realistic painting, made their trophy carvings the most sought after in Scotland. Around 1900, the Tullys were making fish models for various London tackle shops like Holbrow and Co., Rowland Ward and C. Farlow & Co.

The Tully's fish models became so great that they received orders from around the world. The name of the studio and the names of it's two devoted artistic workers, as a result of their wonderful carvings, became known throughout the whole world of angling.

John and Dhuie were married Jan. 17, 1906 at Rattray United Free Manse Blairgowrie.

John Tully died on October 20, 1931 at Spey Bay Bellie, at the age of 69. Dhuie Tully later moved to Elmbank, South Street, where she built another studio and continued to paint until arthritis forced her to stop.

Isabella Fraser "Dhuie" Tully (nee Russell) was born Oct. 8, 1862 at Old Machar Aberdeen, Scotland, and died Nov. 7, 1950 at Elmbank South Street, Fochabers.

Dhuie the Art Teacher

George Gibson was born in Edinburgh but brought up in Fochabers where his father worked as a tailor. George's teacher, Dhuie Tully, recognised his skill as an artist from an early age and helped George develop his talents further. In 1930, George decided to seek his fortune in America and found part-time work in Hollywood at the famous MGM studios as a scenic artist. As early as 1934, George became Artistic Director at MGM. He changed the way that motion pictures were made in Hollywood. George created the backdrops of many of the famous films - 'The Wizard of Oz' 'American in Paris' and 'Random Harvest' to name but a few.

Newspaper Articles (1894 - 1910) About Dhuie Russell Tully
  • Display of painting in Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Ireland ( Mar. 1894 )

  • Opening of art classes in Buckie ( Aug. 1895 )
  • Exhibition of paintings in Buckie ( Dec. 1895 )
  • Exhibition of paintings in Buckie ( Jan. 1896 )
  • Exhibition of painting at Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin ( Mar. 1897 )
  • Painting class in Cullen Public School (May 1897 )
  • Display of work at fisheries exhibition in London ( May 1897 )
  • Biographical sketch ( Sept. 1904 )
  • Exhibition of model of Spey salmon at sports exhibition in Vienna ( Nov. 1910 )

  • Biographies
  • Biography - ( 2001 ) LMisc1358

  • Miscellaneous
  • Gravestone inscription in "Monumental inscriptions Bellie churchyard and new cemetery" no 1 compiled by Moray Burial Ground Research Group - ( 2006 ) L 929,5

  • Photographs & Illustrations
  • Photograph & description of work in the Fochabers Studio in "Northern Scot
    Christmas number" ( 1907 ) p10-11 - L 079

  • Photograph by kind permission of "coldwaterjohn".
    "Dhuie the Art Teacher" courtesy
    Newspaper Articles courtesy Moray Council Local Heritage Services, Moray Scotland


    Norway Fishing

    Charles Gordon Irwin 1894 -1959
    Click to Enlarge On June 5th 1936 Gordon Irwin caught a 56 1/2 lb. Atlantic Salmon at Seem Moum, Norway. The fish model shown below was ordered through C. Farlow & Co. Ltd. of London. England, and was made at Fochabers Studio.

    My great-uncle Charles Gordon Irwin, was born June 25th 1894 in Tynemouth, England. He was educated there and at Stramongate House, Kendal, Cumbria where he gained a his Click to Enlarge reputation there as an all round athlete and sportsman. He began his medical studies at Durham University in 1912, graduating with honours in 1917. His studies were interrupted during 1914 and 1915 by service with the Royal Army Medical Corps and was one of the first volunteers. After War and deeply moved by problems arising from battle field injuries, he chose to specialise in orthopaedic surgery. He spent six months studying under Sir Robert Jones.

    Click to Enlarge

    In 1919 he was appointed orthopedic Surgeon to the Ministry of Pensions in Newcastle and in 1920 he was appointed surgical registrar to the Royal Victoria Infirmary and 1928 appointed Assistant Honorary Surgeon. In 1931 he accepted the appointment of Honorary Surgeon in Charge at the new orthopaedic department of Newcastle upon Tyne’s Royal Victoria Infirmary. Charles lectured in Orthopaedic Surgery at the Durham University college of Medicine, and in 1948 he became Advisor in orthopedics to the No.1 Regional Hospital Board. Click to Enlarge In 1952 to 1953 he held the high office of Vice President of the British Orthopaedic Association, during which period the Congress of English-speaking Orthopaedic Surgeons was held in London.

    Much could be said about my great uncle's talents. A brilliant surgeon, whose work was described as artistry, he was a great countryman. All his life, Northumberland was his to know and love. He knew every twist and turn of every river and road, particularly the roads Click to Enlarge which led him to the River Tweed or the River Eden. He was an excellent shot and golfer, but fishing outlived his other sporting loves. He was never happier than when encouraging a fumbling beginner to catch his first salmon. For many he will live in memory as a cosummate artist on a river bank, or if the river were unproductive, his unbounded knowledge of local terrain and folk-lore retailed with his inimitable urbanity made many a blank day feel like high summer and well spent.

    He was within casting distance of the River Tweed when he died.

    Carving photographs and some text courtesy Tim Irwin, Ponteland, England.
    Photograph of Charles Gordon Irwin and further text courtesy the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

    Even though this fish model is not signed or marked Fochabers Studio, it is believed it was made there since C. Farlow & Co. had Tullys' make their models [1]. It is also believed that this carving was made by Bertie George and painted by Dhuie Tully. John Tully died in 1931 and his assistant Bertie George continued carving the fish while Dhuie painted them[1]. The plaque has a C. Farlow & Co. Ltd. metal tag attached, and a brass plate with the details of the catch.

    Carving measurements: Nose to center of tail 54"; Ht. of tail 11.75";Tip of dorsal fin to under belly 16"; Nose to eye 6.75".

    [1] Ronald S. Swanson, "Fish Models, Plaques & Effigies"

    Photograph courtesy Ronald S. Swanson
    Pl. 241 Fish Models, Plaques and Effigies
    Tully fish carving
    Earliest known model painted by Dhuie Tully - 1896
    Atlantic Salmon - 32lbs
    Gloppen River, Sandene, Norway

    An example of Dhuie's fine painting on a Atlantic Salmon carving

    Vienna Waltz - composed by Johann Strauss II (1825-1899)
    Dhuie travelled to Vienna in 1910
    for an Exhibition of her Spey Salmon carvings

    Just a Few Examples of Dhuie's Paintings

    Dhuie Tully  painting
    A Brace of Hen Salmon
    Circa 1880
    Dhuie Tully  painting
    Dhuie Tully  painting
    Dhuie Tully  painting

    For more information about Dhuie,
    see the John and Dhuie Tully page.

    Philip Glass: Metamorphosis 2

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