Howdy readers as per the norm I hope your all well and safe where ever you are, here in England we have just had storm Katie go through the wind took tiles off our roof and many others, with trees coming down and some commercial properties getting damaged and as we are by the sea the wind throws that up as well making for a very miserable time but as I look out the window now there is nothing but beautiful blue sky and not even a breeze in the air.
I often wish of living in warmer climates but I’m sure if I lived there I’d be the same but in reverse and wanting rain so I should not grumble too much now should I.
Ok so the last blog didn’t pick up to many likes maybe my blog was seen as boring or informative so here’s an idea to try and get more likes and shares.
I thought this blog could be about a few pieces from the collection that have made it over the 100 year mark and make up some of the antique pieces owned by us at collectibulldogs.com, let’s start with this piece it’s a silver plated and crystal glass humidor with a seated bulldog on a floral setting.
The piece was made around 1870 and I’m still trying to find the maker and country of Origen but that’s half the fun of collecting and at least I can start calling myself a curator of sorts.
The piece like so many other differing types had the same use and would of been used to hold tobacco and keep it moist.
This piece has some wear to the silver I think the plating may of been polished off but other than that it’s still a beautiful example of this particular collectible.
The next bulldog I am showing will and I know not to be to everyone’s taste and that’s because the bulldog has a chain attached which to some bulldog owners is a big no no and animal advocates but please remember I didn’t make these and they were from a time gone by where life was a lot different to today.
Now to the good points I adore this piece and its because I saved so hard to buy it, this piece came from an art dealer from jersey and wouldn’t budge on the price so it took a while to obtain.
The bulldog is a bronze vesta made in wein Austria and as its European we all know such items were melted down for the war effort so I’m lucky to have an original, the head tilts up to reveal the match department and the strike for the match is up the side of the post.
This piece is not cold painted but is hot cast and would of been made by using a method called the lost wax process (I covered this bronze method in previous blog) the piece has a beautiful gold patina and is remarkably robust for a piece if it’s age (mid 1850s) and still looks great even today.
Silver pin cushions especially ones like this date up (1910) and way before this one (1906) these would of been small treasures that rich families owned and could afford at the time (most properly with silver thimbles), I would of thought the staff would of used these items as the lady of the house back then wouldn’t of done any darning but saying that a piece like this could of also been a gift from a loving husband to he’s hardworking homemaking wife.
The piece is small about 2-3 inches and still holds its original straw inner but the bulldog does has some superficial damage to the front leg it just needs to be pushed back out (phew not broken).
I’ve seen a few of these and a friend of mine owns one too they are all similar in weight and design the only real difference to each piece is the detail to the collar.
There’s a strong navel connection to this next piece I mean just look at that deep blue colour used and with the motif in the middle the piece in itself is just so appealing with its nautical theme all tying in. The piece was made between 1910 and 1920 you can clearly see all the allied forces flag adorned all around the bulldog with a ship underneath, part of what drives collecting is provenance so it would be great if the bowl coincides with the ship displayed on its inner. There are many pieces out there like this if you look most are war related and I think used back then as propaganda but these days just make for collectibles that you love having in the collection.
I’ve only seen this next piece once before and it was up for sale in an auction that took place in America in 2010 the figurine was part of a collection being sold off and this fella was one of the pieces up for sale (not this actual piece) so it was easy peasy when it came to researching the piece.
Firstly the piece is a Japanese Akari pattern painted seated bulldog and I’m led to believe the name Akari, comes from the three colours used to create the pattern and the brushes and palette that are blessed before being used.
This tradition is over 200 years old and I cannot fib saying I think mines that old but I’m very sure the piece is over the 100 year mark due to the innocence shown in the figurines design and from the info I’ve researched and with an almost human type face (my own opinion).
He sits proudly amongst a few vintage and antique bulldogs from Japan and admittedly looks nothing like the others yet for many a collector he’s seen as cute just a bit quirky.
I can date this next piece easy as all I need to know about this stunning collectible is stamped under his tail and the reason behind its look compared to some others is because it was commissioned by a German family or company in 1906 and bulldogs in Germany had many variations, the maker was a silver smith working from the city of Chester I think he did a fantastic job.
I can’t say for sure if it made its exporting duty and ended up in Germany, I acquired it here in the UK so do not know if it ever left our shores, the piece is the size of your normal eight inch figurine and even though very well made is a little hollow but still carries a good weight and if you look closely enough the piece has patina and certain areas like the collar have been beautifully chased (chasing is a form of creating a pattern by gently hammering the inner side).
This is the largest silver bulldog in the collection we have a slightly smaller one with a Victorian past and a more modern one from the London shop Harrods.
Sticking with the silver I thought I would show this historical piece of bulldog history and it’s way past the 100 yr mark so why not, back in the late 1800s when bulldogs started entering shows one of the problems that turned into an event or class of its own was the weight limit section.
To be able to win this medal your bulldog had to fall into the 45LB weight size category, the medal itself is hallmarked (fading) and the date is clear for all to see and written in that beautiful Olde style.
I’m not sure when the NEC took over the dog show here in England this piece is from a time before then when the show took place at Earl’s Court.
This last piece is a collectors idea of perfection its antique signed and in pristine condition, the piece is a plate dated 1881 and has the artists signature.
When I researched this piece the information took me to the ceramics industry and tourist trade in turkey. The artist was not Turkish but travelled there to make he’s fortune by using he’s art to paint beautiful pieces.
I don’t really think about the past in sense that it’s very much like today and back in the 1800s folks were on holiday and buying touristy items to bring back to their respected countries.
The plate itself is around (no pun intended) 10 inches in circumference is free of chips cracks or wear and tear and I’ve taken a close up shot to show the colours, they are as if the fella painted the piece last week rich and vibrant and I will finish by saying the actual picture on the plate reminds me of the face book posts you see where bulldogs (any breed) are on someone’s vehicle with the neck tie and usually googles if on a bike with their tongues out fighting their mouths not to blow away lol.
I hope this blog was a little more insightful to some of my previous offerings, I don’t wish to come across as a smarty pants so wrote the blog quite informally considering the importance of the pieces to the history of the breed as a whole.
I’m lucky to of found some wonderful treasures but it’s not just me that can achieve this you all can too just research what you love and juggle that with your budget and you will end up with nice pieces in your cabinet and once that happens you can start making the collection pay for itself as I have done in the past.
I know a couple in the states I’ve made friends with through my Facebook group they started on places like Craig’s list (American) picking up pieces here and there and now I get sent pictures of top quality bulldog collectibles they have managed to research and find theirselves, I’m happy to say more and more folks are telling me they have caught the bug of collecting or I’ve re stirred old collecting passions to me that’s job done.
Until the next blog happy collecting folks.
The Next blog will be a guest blog and written by another collector
Please note if collecting silver with no provenance, remember it maybe priceless to you but it’s still only worth its scrap value on the market and if selling, its always better to find another collector that sees beyond just the scrapping value of the piece.