Objects | Inventions and Firsts


The Durham Ox, 1802

Beamish, the North of England Open Air Museum, Durham


1800 – 1899

This painting illustrates the result of 19th century genetic engineering.

In 1796, Charles Colling of Ketton Hall, bred the famous Durham Ox. The culmination of this breeding programme was the birth of the bull Comet, bred by Charles Colling, in 1804. This bull was subsequently sold for 1,000 guineas in 1810 at the Brafferton sale, the first 1,000 guinea bull ever recorded.

The Ox became famous in the early 19th century for its shape, size and weight. It was an early example of what became the Shorthorn breed of cattle, and helped establish the standards by which the breed was to be defined.

Bred by Charles Colling (1751-1836)
Painted by J Boultbac & engraved by T Whessell

On display in Pockerley Old Hall, Beamish, The Living Museum of the North

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