Thursday 28 March 2013

The Dachshund with the Big Family

This photograph of a Dachshund with his very large family was taken by Gebrüder Brändlein in Schweinfurt, Germany. Schweinfurt literally translates as "swine ford" - there is an ancient story about pigs crossing the once shallow Main River, on the bank of which Schweinfurt would eventually be built.

The photograph is a great example of how scanning an old photograph can provide a fresh perspective on and image, and show you things you would perhaps never have seen with the naked eye. Allow me to demonstrate...

The mother in the image is carefully working on her knitting.

The Dachshund and one of the little girls are framed by two figurines, one of a cat and one of a little girl in a bonnet with a basket.

This little girl holds a favourite curly-haired doll.

Not only can we take a closer look at the relationship between mother and daughter, but we can see the mother wears a brooch with a winged-cupid holding a lute.


Sunday 17 March 2013

The Little Boy Who Loves His Dog

What makes this portrait so charming is the mutual love between boy his Manchester Terrier. The pose is very natural and relaxed. This is due in part to advances in photographic technology in the 1880s which reduced exposure times needed for indoor portraits from minutes to just a few seconds.

This photograph was taken by Edward Lyddell Sawyer. Born in 1856 Lyddell was the son of Henry Sawyer, portrait painter & photographer (1830 - 1896). Aged 15 he began working in his father's Newcastle Studio before establishing a photographic business of his own, also in Newcastle, in  mid-1885.

In 1895 Lyddell moved to London and opened another studio in Regent Street. In his spare time he began to experiment with taking landscape pictures in a naturalistic style. During this time Lyddell gained some eminent friends in the photography world including Whitby photographer Frank Meadow Sutcliffe and Henry Peach Robinson.

View of Newcastle c1890 by Lyddell Sawyer

Lyddell was a member of the Photographic Society (later The Royal Photographic Society) from 1881. However in 1895 he became a member of the Brotherhood of the Linked Ring (founded by Henry Peach Robinson in 1892). The Brotherhood sought to break away from the Photographic Society, who they believed did not understand "the photographic art", and saw photography as more of a science.

The Brotherhood had some what of a mystical hierarchy, and every member, or "link" chose for themselves a pseudonym. Lyddell was known as "Sheriff". The Brotherhood represented themselves with a logo of three interlinked rings, which were meant in part to represent the Masonic beliefs of Good, True, and Beautiful.

As much as he saw himself as an artist Lyddell was commercially aware. He was one of the first photographers to see the potential to make money by publishing some of his photographs as picture postcards. He began doing this around 1902, using photographs that had often been taken years previously.

1903 postcard featuring Lyddell Sawyer's photograph Summer Time

The photograph featured in this article is from the personal collection of D.Hockley. You can look forward to more Manchester & Black and Tan Terrier photographs from his collection appearing on Antique Dog photographs over the coming weeks.


Sunday 10 March 2013

Little and Large

What a pair these two dogs make! It is unclear whether this St Bernard was photographed next to this little West Highland White terrier puppy, because they belonged to the same owner, or simply because when paired together they made an interesting subject.

The photographers of this image were William Henry Wheeler and George P. Day of 106 High Street, Oxford, England.

In 1865 Wheeler and Day purchased the photographic business of Edward Bracher which resided at 26 High Street and moved it to 106 High Street. In Jackson's Oxford Journal for 28th of October 1865, Wheeler and Day advertise their new "large and commodious Photographic Gallery".

There is an engraving of the shop on the reverse of the photograph.

In 1871 Wheeler and Day separated as business partners, but Willian Henry Wheeler continued the business at the same premises. A very similar engraving as on the back of the CDV appears on Wheelers bill-head c1872, shown below.  Taking into account this information we can date "Little and Large" to between 1865 and 1871.

Reproduced by permission of Oxfordshire County Council, Reference Number: HT14020

A short Family History for William Henry Wheeler, born about 1831

Here is Wheeler in the 1871 census, listed as a Bookseller. Business much have been thriving as he is listed as "employing 4 men, 2 apprentices and 2 boys". At this time William and his wife Ellen, also employed two servants (one who was aged just 13) who would have cared for their then two year old daughter Frances, and 5 month old daughter Lucy. (Click on the image for a larger view)

Source Information: Census Returns of England and Wales, 1871. Kew, Surrey, England

By 1891 Henry and Ellen had had another four children together (two son's and two daughters), they had also increased their household staff to six servants and one waiter. Their daughter Frances was also now working as an assistant to her father at 106 High Street. (Click on the image for a larger view)

Source Information: Census Returns of England and Wales, 1891. Kew, Surrey, England

William continued to work until his death aged 87 in 1918 and the business was closed shorty after.

 Source Information: Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England. London, England © Crown copyright.

106 High Street is now the Oxford University Bookshop, and the shop front has changed little since Wheeler & Day set up business there 148 years ago as you can see in the image below.


Sunday 3 March 2013

The Much Loved Pug

The plain studio backdrop in this image highlights the subjects in the foreground, and their close relationship. This well dressed, fur-clad lady has a clear affection for her pug, who himself is so contented, he has his eyes closed as she holds him. As smartly dressed as his owner, the Pug wears a studded leather collar with a little bell.

Author Robert Leighton said in 1910 "What ever may have been the history of the Pug as regards its nativity, it had not long been introduced into England before it became a popular pet, and it shared with the King Charles Spaniel the affection of the great ladies of the lands. Queen Victoria possessed one of which she was very proud."

The photograph was taken at No. 19 Hill Street, Richmond, London by Byrne & Co.

Here is a postcard of Hill Street c1880-1900, looking very closely at the multitude of street signs and business placards, amazingly I was able to find a sign for the Byrne & Co. Studio and their "Electric Light Studio".

Click Here for more Pug related articles from this website.