Art Deco Dogs! What a fabulous combination!
The fascination with speed and all things streamlined in the Art Deco era even influenced the popularity of certain breeds of dogs. The sleek lines of the Greyhound made it the ideal fashion accessory. It appeared in photos and fashion illustrations of the day complementing the pure, long lines of the female silhouette of the era.
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bottom of the poster. Scroll down for many more fabulous Art Deco Dog
The tall and elegant Borzoi with its graceful curved tail was popularized by Queen Alexandra, who was presented with her dog Alex by Tsar Nicholas of Russia. The dignity of the Borzoi and its origin in the Russia of the Ballet Russes with all its exotic associations also made this dog popular for the fashion conscious of the day.
Queen Alexandra with her Borzoi,
from Hutchinson's Dog Encyclopedia, c. 1935
It was inevitable that the Saluki, whose mummified remains were found in the tombs of the Pharoahs, and is one of the oldest pure bred dogs in the world should become popular in the Art Deco era. The classic Erte image of a woman and a dog "Symphony in Black" could well be a Saluki, or perhaps a Greyhound.
Surely no mother love can equal the all absorbing interest we feel in our pets" Hon. Mrs J. Rodney, Vogue 1932. This was the way ladies felt about their pampered pooches in this era, and they went everywhere. The ladies cloakroom at many a smart hotel would be filled with the doggie guests having their own lunch parties.
Of course, the love of dogs meant that images of their favourite hounds would have to appear on pins and brooches so they could be remembered at all times. There was a plethora of dog pins available in every conceivable material from the beginning of the century, with little Scottie dogs and charms in Celluloid being mass produced. The Greyhound, Borzoi and Saluki forms created the perfect silhouette for an elegant brooch.
Also popular were the Pekinese, the Dachshund, the Poodle with its outrageous haircut, all kinds of Terriers, and the French Bulldog.
The Silent Movie Actress, Vera Salvotti with her French Bulldog. She was President of the Italian Women's Kennel Club in 1933. From Hutchinson's Dog Encyclopedia, c. 1935.
The English Bulldog also came into its own in the Churchill era, with lots of pins and brooches being made of that less than elegant creature.
The Great Dane was the ultimate in power and elegance, with its height and sleek coat. The perfect 1930s accessory.
Many Art Deco artists used dogs in their work. Louis Icart was a very popular artist at the time and a famous painter of animals. His paintings included Scotties, Poodles, Greyhounds and Borzois among others. Click on the picture to see a larger version!
What is they say about owners looking like their dogs?....
Or is it the other way round?
Carol Lombard and her dog, from Hutchinson's Dog Encyclopedia, c. 1935
There's a huge range of Art Deco dog collectables on Ebay USA, UK and Australia. Choose from sculptures, jewellery, prints and more. First check out my advice for buying on the internet.
If you love architecture and dogs you will love this blog....
Photo from Hutchinson's Dog Encyclopedia, c.1935