In the 1860s to 1890s Andrew Clemens a deaf mute born in Dubuque, Iowa, U.S.A. became the undisputed master of the craft of creating unfixed pictures using multicoloured sands collected from the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi and compressed inside glass bottles or ornate chemist jars. The subjects of his sand bottles included ornately decorated sentimental verses, sailing ships, portraits — including George Washington, as well as exotic birds, plants and animals. His sand bottles have become museum pieces and highly prized antiques which nowadays sell at auction for thousands of dollars. He exhibited his work at the St. Louis trade fair and having spent hours creating a picture in a bottle would demonstrate to an incredulous audience that the picture inside was unfixed by destroying the bottle with a hammer, but being a true showman he was never short of commissions. One customer was a soldier who came to collect a pair of jars that he had ordered for his true love, but as he held the jars aloft to admire the superb handiwork they briefly touched and in an instant smashed to pieces on the floor! But so as not to disappoint his cherie he willingly paid up for replacements to be collected during his next leave.