A Fine and Rare St. Bernard Dog Sitting on a Quilted Cushion, Staffordshire, England, c.1820


A figure of a dog sitting on a cushion seated to the right. This splendid hound has the look of a Saint Bernard, bearing a close resemblance in modelling technique and fine paint detail to the dog of Alcibiades with a possible attribution to Enoch Wood/Wood & Caldwell.


The origins of the Saint Bernard breed appears to date back to the Romans who it is thought introduced them to Switzerland by way of the Molossers, a large savage breed similar to the Rottweiler from ancient Greece and Rome. Mated with local mountain breeds, these enormous dogs were known as Talhund (valley dog) or Bauernhund (farm dog). The monks in the Swiss alps later cross bred these dogs with Newfoundlands to give them longer, thicker coats. Also, in 1124, a monk known as Bernard De Menthon became a saint, and a mountain pass he worked to restore with the help and protection of these dogs was named ‘Saint Bernard’ in his honour. This would appear to be the origins of the Saint Bernard breed.

Circa. 1820s

4.8’’ H x 4.25” L x 2.75” D   O/A approx.

Excellent condition overall, with only minor professional attention to rubbing on corner tassels.

£675    $833-USD

Reference – Staffordshire Figures 1780 to 1840, Volume 3 (Page 119, 120.36), Myrna Scholne
Published by Schiffer

Ref Number: 220504A
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