The Collectible Terrier


A “collectible” is defined as something considered worth collecting, and is not necessarily valuable to everyone, or antique. For those of us in the world of purebred dogs, almost anything relating to “our” breed might therefore be considered worthy of collecting — my own home has been labeled a tchotchke explosion! One collector may concentrate on paintings, while another prefers porcelain; some prefer paper, others three dimensional objects, and then there are those of us that want it all.

Of the 28 Terrier breeds currently recognized by the American Kennel Club, 13 rank below 100 of the total 156 AKC breeds in registrations through 2008. This indication of the rarity of those Terrier breeds makes it even more exciting that so many different collectibles can now be readily acquired for each and every breed.

Another aspect of the collectible for the Terrier art lover is that there are very few original works of art by the major artists available to be had, and those that do exist often sell in the range of tens of thousands of dollars. From the wide range of readily available collectibles, framed well and presented beautifully, the works of the greatest names in canine art can be had by all, often very modestly priced. Grouping your Wardles, Kirmses and Stokes makes for an impressive gallery of your own.

People have decorated their homes with beautiful representations of their favorite dog breeds for as long as their breed of choice has existed. In the Victorian era, scores of companies answered the call to provide fanciers with portrayals of their beloved canines in a myriad of artistic, decorative and functional forms. The British Isles have provided both the origin of most of the Terrier breed collectibles as well as the majority of canine collectibles in general. One may choose from the greatest names in dog painting to the finest illustrators and canine photographers, from collectible dog breed books to frame-able prints, from illustrated stories and fine porcelain models sculpted in the legendary potteries to hundreds of breed-specific collectibles produced by the tobacco and tea companies. With everything from ashtrays to bottle stoppers and letter openers to walking sticks, every breed has been well represented, and the search for that special item can be a great adventure.

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