Antique Enthusiasts Beg For Canine Collectibles

This lovely old treenware bowl is handpainted wood with an image of a St. Bernard dog.

Dogs have never been so popular. Just about everyone is into canines and pedigree breeds at that! My own hairdresser now raises Old English Sheepdogs and does quite well at it (she’s not styling their hair yet).

Even little ones are in love with puppies thanks to the animated series, Paw Patrol. Of course, in the world of art and antiques, pedigree has long been respected and along with that – dogs!

Collectors discover examples of dogs in a variety of antiques, including advertising art, fine paintings, statues, needlework and novelty items.

The charming wooden dog box shown in today’s column features a hand carved Scottish Terrier and a round toy ball the puppy pushes with her front paws. The dog’s tail is a lever to open the smooth round box. Found at our local antiques show some years back, it may have been intended as a fancy tobacco box originally but could be used for any small trinket.

The second item is a Scottie dog doorstop, that features heavy construction made of a plaster or cement material that dates to the early 20th century. Many collectors find doorstops fun to seek and save and this one would be perfect propped in any cozy home setting.

The third item is a cute little plastic toy dog by Tarco Toys of Chicago. This neat little puppy holds a magnetic bone in his little pink mouth, which can be removed by a child and waved in front of the dog to get his tail wagging.

Also shown is a lovely old wooden bowl painted with an image of a St. Bernard dog. This wooden bowl is large and is similar to treenware, woodenware from the 18th and 19th centuries. Treenware includes spoons, bowls, food molds and other kitchen items and is totally functional is design. This bowl was probably made for display rather than use, however.

All these collectibles are perfect examples of how easy it is to get caught up in the canine collecting habit. In fact, dogs can overwhelm a collector so most collectors shape their collection around a favorite breed or type of treasure, like poodles or Staffordshire dog figurines.

Schiffer has a collectible book available, published in 1999, written by Patricia Robak, considered the first broad-based survey and price guide for dog memorabilia of all breeds that is available online or at second hand book stores.

It covers dog-related items dating from the early 19th to the mid-20th centuries. From portraits to postcards, Staffordshire to celluloid, Berlin work to buttons, everything in this book of over 430 color photographs relates to dogs and the people who loved them.

Another collector’s book for those fascinated by dogs is entitled “Flea Market Fidos,” written by Barri Leiner and Marie Moss. From paint-by-number terriers to Diana Thorne dog drawings, this illustrated volume offers “inspiration and information for both first-time collectors and serious dog devotees.” Published in 2002, I located it online.

Marketing giants like the Bradford Exchange and others know the weakness that dog lovers have for their four-legged friends and create lots of collectible merchandise to prove it. On its website, they list everything from jewelry to sneakers, designed around a specific breed from Dachshund to German Shepherds and everything in between.

To so many dog owners, there is nothing better than the unconditional love that they enjoy from their faithful pets. People love to talk about their pups, hurry home to feed and care for them, and spend a lot of time and money on them. It’s no wonder that dogs enjoy the same enthusiasm in the world of antiques.

For comments or suggestions on local treasures to be featured in Antique of the Week, Maureen Zambito can be reached via email at or by writing in care of this newspaper.


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