Dr Watson’s “Stuff”

We have an extensive catalogue of Mr Holmes’s personal belongings, from dressing gowns to pipes to commonplace books and on and on.

But, what do we know of Dr Watson’s belongings? Who can catalogue those items that are Dr Watson’s personal things? And where no evidence exists, who would care to speculate on Dr Watson’s likely inventory?

4 Replies to “Dr Watson’s “Stuff””

  1. I’ll start with some easy ones: in CARD Holmes refers to Watson’s newly framed portrait of General Gordon and his unframed portrait of “Henry Ward Beecher which stands upon the top of your books.” We may assume that this is “my small medical shelf I took down the Medical Directory” Watson refers to in HOUN. Of course, he had other books as well; Clark Russell’s fine sea stories (FIVE) and Henri Murger’s Vie de Bohème (STUD). We may also assume that, as Watson is reading BMJ in his Paddington home in STOC that he also had medical journals at Baker Street. And what sort of medical man would he be without his old service revolver? We know that Watson had a cheque-book locked in Holmes’ desk.

    1. We also know he had a medical bag and a stethoscope, and a hat for the stethoscope to put a bulge in. We know he has a pair of rubber-soled tennis shoes, in CHAS, and it’s entirely possible he kept his black silk mask that he made for that case.

      He has a shaving-mirror, which he has moved at least once, in his own home (not 221B), and at least one pair of shoes which a maid has cut in trying to clean them. At one point he had a wife, Mary Morstan Watson.

      I’m sure others will come up with a few more items..

  2. Some speculations about Watson’s effects … this one took me a while to ponder, so I’m afraid I’m rather behind in this submission.

    What he had at Baker Street would vary to a degree depending on which period we’re looking at – before his marriage to Mary or after the Great Hiatus. But there are many things we can postulate he had whenever he lived at 221B. Most of the items mentioned in the Canon have been listed in their usual good order by Pippin and Roxy. Some other thoughts:

    He had his brother’s pocket watch (SIGN), complete with two keys – one to wind it, and one to set the hands. Also, a cane (SHOS) and a walking stick (LADY), common accessories for a gentleman of the period. He’d have a basic wardrobe similar to Holmes’s: city clothes, country clothes, dressing gown, etc., and items of personal toilette, most of which have been mentioned in previous Quiz answers (shaving mirror, soap & shaving brush, razor & strop, toothbrush, tooth powder, hairbrush and the like).

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