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Highlighted selection of recent acquisitions

03 November 2014    12:00

All the time the KC collection is acquiring works of art and memorabilia from friends of the KC, mostly by donations. Recent donations have included a watercolour by Angela Mulliner of the Komondor Hercegvaros Cica of Borgvaale and Loakespark, known as Kitten. This Komondor is the only Champion Show Group winning Komondor in the UK. Her final win was at the Pedigree Veteran Final in 1985. The picture demonstrates the depth of a corded coat, as shown brilliantly by the artist.

Further donations have included Kitten's Head painted on velvet by Peter Diment (the picture shows this medium at its best) and two magnificent large photographs of the Hungarian Puli Ch. Loakespark Polynesian Boy and a full body of Kitten.

A very interesting archive with photographs never seen before was donated by Helen Lorenz. These were collected by her father, James Palmer Douglas, and included a lovely silver model of a Golden Retriever. Three people Flo Horswell (Sladmore Gallery), John Tiranti and Valerie Foss discovered the model's history. It had marks under the paw. Flo Horswell found that it was cast in Birmingham in the early twentieth century by Albert E Jones (1870-1954). Looking through the GRC Centenary Book, pictures of the Club Trophies donated during the period 1963-1972 show two trophies were of the silver dog.

Research often involves considerable work but sometimes luck plays a part. This was so with the silver dog when John Tiranti decided to contact Styles Silver of Hungerford. They were able to confirm that the silver model was indeed sculpted by Albert E Jones, a noted silversmith who if he did not cast the model himself, he probably did the chasing and finishing. Styles said that they still do occasionally have one come up for sale.

Other interesting additions to the Kennel Club Collections are a unique contemporary artist proof kindly donated by Sir Peter Blake and Dark Matter Studio and a vintage photo album of early Golden Retriever photographs acquired by the sharp eyes of Heidi Hudson, our dog picture expert.  This is a rare album of field trial and kennel photos dating from the 1920s and early 1930s of the BEARS affix for Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers .  The album has a wonderful selection of Champion Field Trial photos as well as adult working dogs and puppies in training all within the context of family and kennel life at the time.  If you would like to see this photo album please contact Heidi Hudson in the Kennel Club Picture Library to make an appointment. 

Sir Peter Blake was born in 1932 and studied at the Royal College of Art, became a Royal Academician in 1981 and was knighted in 2002 for his services to Art. Best known for being part of the British Pop Art movement he achieved fame with Self Portrait with Badges, 1961 and went on to make the artwork for the Beatles Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band amongst many other commissions. Blake's work combines elements of painting and print with images from popular culture and he has a great love of collage. His work continues to gain in value and this is an important acquisition for the Collection. Dark Matter Studio produces printed works with Sir Peter, together with a number of other well-known contemporary artists.

These highlights of recent acquisitions demonstrate the continued importance of donations to the Collection, which is one of the most important of its kind in the world. Although the character of the Collection is predominantly Victorian, it is a live and growing archive of the continued importance and relevance of dogs in contemporary life. 

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