Inveterate Thrupiece spotter Mr Archibald Stalker has written to say that he believes he has identified yet another image of the Professor contained in the archives of Maxim's, the iconic Parisian Restaurant which inspired, amongst many other artistic works, several scenes in Franz Lehar's well-known operetta The Merry Widow [or, as the Germans in their irredeemably teutonic way would have it "Die Lustige Witwe"]. As he explains:
"I was perusing the World Wide Interweb in the comfort of my own home office when, at approximately 8.15pm on Wednesday 12 June, a series of images leapt before my disbelieving eyes. Some of them were, to say the least, surprising. I had placed the words "fun, widow, available and Paris" into the little box with the magnifying glass sign next to it and pressed carriage return on my computer input device ["keyboard" Ed]. Sifting through the many and varied images which lay before me - some of them more au naturelle than I had would have thought decent - I chanced across the enclosed and immediately recognised a caricature of Professor Thrupiece at the heart of it. Whilst there can be no doubt - to my mind at least - that this is a representation of the Professor (and my nephew Jeremy, who is something called a "facial recognition software engineer", endorses this view), my startling identification does pose something of a problem or "reveal a potential disparity" if you prefer.
The date of origin of the image can be established with reasonable certainty as being on or around 19 September 1876. It is my understanding that Professor Thrupiece was not born until 1940 and, assuming that his age as depicted in the image [see opposite] is in the region of the mid 50s, this would suggest that the image is at least 119 years too young to be authentic. I wonder if any of your readers can "explain away" this potentially puzzling anomaly. I had wondered whether the ever fertile brain of the Professor might have conjured (unknown to science generally) a time machine capable of placing him in another era, another profession and another suit? This seems to me - Ockham's Razor being appropriately deployed - to be the simplest and most obvious explanation though several fellow Thrupiece watchers to whom I have put this proposition are mildly sceptical. Help please?