Dog of the Week – Watching Over You
Published on April 6, 2010 :: One Comment
Our collection of dog items is larger than I realize, and spread all over the house. This early soft paste child’s mug has been in our bedroom for the last couple of years, and it was just recently that my eye fell on it and I thought, “Oh, look. There’s another dog thing for the blog.”
I bought this mug at an antique show in North Carolina years ago, and I remember being aghast after paying $30 for it. At that time in our life it was a lot of money for something I wanted to keep rather than re-sell. But I couldn’t walk away from it. You see the charm, don’t you?
This image, of a kindly-looking dog watching over a baby, is relatively common in Victorian prints and books. Often the dog is more of a Saint Bernard-ish looking fellow where this one is kind of Collie-like. Here’s a typical example (not St. Bernard-ish or Collie-ish, but you get the idea.) And I am just noticing that the baby is often in a basket. 19th century babies spent a lot of time in baskets, I think.
A mug like this one, however, is not a common find. I love the age it shows — it was originally white porcelain, with the transfer decoration in brown. But now, some 150 or so years later, it is a mottled brown all over, with spidery crazing and random stains. It’s probably thanks to the crazing and discoloration that I own it at all – if it was in better condition it would have been truly out of my price range.
So that’s my dog for the week – a picture of loving protection and safety. Not a bad image for any era.