The Ups & Downs of Some Prominent Hounds

The Ups & Downs of Some Prominent Hounds

The Belvidere Hounds were first seen going to covert in the magazine “The Sportsman” in 1927, in a cartoon drawing by D. T. Carlisle that was captioned, “The Belvidere Hounds hunt only silver fox.” It depicts a red fox on top of a stone wall as it mocks and taunts the hounds, the huntsman and his horse as ... Read More
 
Consider the Humble Turnspit

Consider the Humble Turnspit

At any of the dog shows held around the world today you will not see a turnspit. Whether it was a distinct breed of dog or a group of similar dogs whose size and shape qualified it to perform a particular task, it is now extinct. Edward Jesse in Anecdotes of Dogs, published in 1846, describes them ... Read More
 
In Search of Richard Fath’s Dog Sculptures

In Search of Richard Fath’s Dog Sculptures

“There is no accounting for taste,” goes the well-worn saying. While there probably is some accounting, somewhere, the fact is that we oftentimes cannot understand what compels someone to respond to a style of furniture or a poem or a work of art if it is something that we ourselves do not find compelling or interesting. This applies, ... Read More
 
Love and Possession: A Brief Look at Dog Collars

Love and Possession: A Brief Look at Dog Collars

Among the dogs kept by Lord Byron (1788-1824), the most extravagant and notorious of the English romantic poets, was his Newfoundland, boatswain. Byron also kept another Newfoundland, Thunder; a mastiff, and numerous other dogs and beasts – among which was a tame bear. When Byron attended Cambridge, dogs had been prohibited. But, as bears were not specifically banned, ... Read More
 
The Honorable Mrs. Neville Lytton on Dog Shows

The Honorable Mrs. Neville Lytton on Dog Shows

While exhibiting my niches at the 2015 National Dog Show near Philadelphia, I was reminded of a book by The Honorable Mrs. Neville Lytton, Toy Dogs and Their Ancestors, published in 1911. Mrs. Lytton is much better known as Lady Wentworth: breeder of Arabian horses, owner of Crabbet Stud (which she inherited through a messy legal process), ... Read More
 
Kings and Commoners: The Miniature Dog Paintings of Gertrude Massey

Kings and Commoners: The Miniature Dog Paintings of Gertrude Massey

Some years ago, I was delighted to learn of the incredible miniature dog portraits by the Englishwoman Gertrude Massey, née Seth (1868-1957). I was fortunate to buy her personal archive of black and white photographs of her work and press clippings about her. Massey originally painted full size works, but not of dogs; that would come later. ... Read More
 
Help and Collecting Dogs

Help and Collecting Dogs

Both the British and Americans divide breeds of dogs into seven groups. For the Brits, their terminology of gundogs, pastoral and utility dogs correspond to the American sporting, herding and non-sporting groups. Both countries use hounds, terriers, toys and working dogs for the other four groups – simple enough until one discovers, for instance, that a Boston terrier ... Read More
 
Canine Couture; or, The Well-Dressed Dog

Canine Couture; or, The Well-Dressed Dog

The Council of Dogs, a slim little book, was first published in London in 1808. The text, written in verse, has various breeds of dogs complaining that they have been overlooked by the poets as being suitable subjects. Each breed then extols its virtues, sometimes slighting the others. The twist comes near the end when ... Read More