Snowbear Great Pyrenees

 


Steve and Mary Berman

 

Collecting Great Pyrenees Books

One Great Pyrenees book grew into Two Thousand Dog Books
and lots of other dog memorabilia

We began to collect Great Pyrenees antiques and memorabilia in 1971. The breed is also known as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog and Le Chien De Montagne Des Pyrenees.

Our first Great Pyrenees dog joined us in 1971 and our first Great Pyrenees history book was purchased soon afterward.

In 1971 a brand new copy of THE GREAT PYRENEES by Mary Crane, 3rd edition, 1949, in a pristine dust wrapper was available from the GPCA for $10.00.

Mary Crane founded the breed in the USA.

We bought a copy and read its 680 pages cover to cover.

The book was well written, rich with details and very complete as it covered the Cranes travel throughout Europe and, their ultimate establishment of Basquaerie and the breed in America.

Virtually every significant dog, breeder, and event in European and USA breed history was represented in the book and presented in photographs.


Letter to Mary Crane
 

After reading Mary Crane's book, we wrote her quite a gushing, compliment laden letter. We praised her book, thanked her for all she had done to establish the breed in the USA and, expressed how much we were enjoying our first Great Pyrenees. This was in late 1971.

It was a real newbie letter.

 

Letter From Mary Crane

We received a most gracious "Reply from Loon's Cry" a week later.

Mary Crane thanked us for our letter and, wished us well in the breed.

It was a very classy letter.

 

And over the years Mary Crane was always very gracious, very informative, and most generous with her time and recollections as this writer would pose history question after history question to the founder of our breed.

Discussions about her early Great Pyrenees dogs, early pedigrees, early breeders and founding GPCA members and their dogs and more, were highly informative, intriguing, and memorable discussions.

The history, literature and the art works of the breed are of particular interest to this writer. Mary Crane was always delighted to discuss in detail the history of the breed, her three books and, the known art of the Great Pyrenees.

 

Great Pyrenees Figurines
Collected in the 1970s to mid -1980s.


 




Various 1970's through 1980's

Great Pyrenees collectibles.



And so began the search for Dog History Books

Rare Dog Books
Dog Photographs
Dog Postcards
Dog Art
and More

Enthralled by the history of the breed in word and image, the '49 Crane book sent us on a near forty year search for every breed history book and every antiquarian dog reference book with a Pyrenean reference we could obtain in any language.

Our Great Pyrenees book collecting interests expanded as we soon searched for old French Pyrenees postcards, old breed photographs, art works, figurines, old specialty catalogues, old pedigrees, and more.

And more came to include old books on travel, exploration, mountaineering, military, and on agriculture that referenced the Pyrenean. Many interesting Pyrenean references were located.





Our Great Pyrenees Library

Great Pyrenees Books

Our library of Great Pyrenees history books was comprehensive and inclusive, as all important breed titles in all editions were represented.

The 1936 Crane book was bound in leather and limited to 200 copies - and - it was several years before the stock sold out.

A number of copies were sent gratis to prominent dog news writers or publishers, select libraries, and select foreign breeders.

To the right is our personalized, inscribed copy of Mary's first edition, 1936.

This was the first Great Pyrenees history book in the USA.

Our favorite Great Pyrenees books are enriched by personalized inscriptions from their authors, fellow exhibitors and breeders it was our good fortune to call good friends.

We were honored to have Mary Crane inscribe a complete 3 vol. set of her books for us, together with some Basquaerie ephemera and other items.

We had the opportunity to discuss a variety of historic references, citation sources, old illustrations, photographs and more with the authors in whose books they appeared.

We wanted to read all historic references in the context of their original sources.

And so we acquired quite a number of interesting old volumes in order to review their Pyrenean references as originally published rather than just the extracted materials.

The Great Pyrenees bookcase held breed history books from around the world as well as a variety of other non-fiction and fictional works with Great Pyrenees characters.

Over the years we assembled a number of complete sets of the Mary Crane trio as well as several complete sets of Madame Jeanne Harper Trois-Fontaines' Pyrenean quintette.

To the right is Madame Harper Trois-Fontaine's PYRENEAN MOUNTAIN DOGS, published late in 1937.

This was the first Pyrenean Mountain Dog history book published in England.



 

 


Early French Breed Books

The earliest French breed books and breed club books were difficult to obtain.

Most were published in the years prior to WWI or soon thereafter, in small runs with soft board covers.

Usually fragile in binding and cover, few original copies of those early books survive or surface today in any condition.

With years of a stubborn determination that would rival any Pyrenees the works of Abadie-Toulet, Byasson, Senac-Lagrange, Fourcassie, D'Ars and others were eventually acquired

Rare & fragile in original issue.

Price in 1936: $3.50






Black cloth covers
79 pages




Rare & fragile
Right: LE CHIEN DES PYRENEES, 1909, very rare in the original issue.
This French publication eluded us for 26 years until we secured an original copy.
This is occasionally referenced as the "Byasson" book or the "First Club book".
First French publication dedicated to the Pyrenees breed.

 


First of the La Colina
series of publications.



The Shelves Fill

The Great Pyrenees shelves gradually filled with breed history books, related breed books, old magazines featuring the breed, various pedigree resource publications, interesting kennel booklets, old specialty show catalogs, photo and clippings albums and, ephemera from breeders of years long past.


HIS DREAM COME TRUE and FLOSSIE THE FOSTER
by Madame Harper Trois-Fontaines.

This interesting little book begins with her history
of the Pyrenean Mountain Dog.
Circa 1958

Catalogue
of the
first
P
yrenean Mountain Dog Club
Championship Dog Show
1946


1863   A Very Early Dog Show Entry

Pigou, a Pyrenean Wolf Dog, was entered in
"Class 45 - Foreign Mastiffs, or Watch Dogs of any kind, such as the Pyrenean Wolf Dog".


Dog show catalogues of this era are quite rare and are exceedingly rare when
found as a leather bound Judges Copy with the dog show judging results bound in.


This beautiful catalogue belonged to Foxhound Judge Captain Percy Williams


Catalogue of the First Great International Show of Sporting and other Dogs
at Agricultural Hall, Islington 1863


Pigou is listed as 2 years old, owned by J. C. Schrotes and bred by Victor Ories, Oloron Passes, Pyrenees

In the published judging results, Pigou’s owner’s name is listed as J. C. Schroter

Class 45 had 16 entrants of various breeds. Three of the entrants won cash prizes and Pigou,
the Pyrenean Wolf Dog , was judged to be “Highly Commended”.

Pigou was one of the earliest known Pyreneans exhibited at a dog show.

In “Class 64 - for best, Monster Dog of any kind not included in preceding classes” a Turkish Wolf Dog was entered.

It is interesting to note that the two large "wolf dogs",  the Pyrenean Wolf Dog
and the Turkish Wolf Dog, were judged in different classes.

Early dog show catalogues can provide a wealth of information to the dog historian.

 

Important Great Pyrenees Historic Letters

 

Two letters from Professor Will S. Monroe to Mary Crane,
regarding his research into the history and origins of the Great Pyrenees breed.

Written in the early 1930’s, each letter is several pages long,
typed with additional hand written comments.


 

Children's Books featuring Great Pyrenees

We also collected a variety of juvenile and children's titles published in several languages which included a Great Pyrenees in their story line. The titles ranged from the late 1800s to the 1970s.

Larry, Charlie, Vanilla, Patou, Belle and others joined all types of kids and other dogs on all types of adventures.


Early Magazines

A number of pre-1940 dog magazines featured the latest Pyrenean news of the day or on occasion, historic articles about the breed. This included dog magazines published in France, England, and the USA.

Other magazines in France, England, Canada, and the USA included occasion articles, covers, photographs, or interesting advertisements about the Pyrenees. It was a challenge to first to identify these magazines and then, locate and acquire the magazines.

SPORT CANIN

One of the dog magazines we collected was SPORT CANIN, a French magazine whose issues from the late 1930s were of particular interest to us.

This French magazine published Great Pyrenees news and general dog news from the USA in the late 1930s. The primary news contributor was the "American Lady".

The '30s era of the breed in Europe and the USA was an era of interest to us and SPORT CANIN provided another glimpse back in time.

We enjoyed the "latest" Pyrenees news of the USA as reported back to the breed's homeland by Mary Crane.

Most of the late 1930s issues were quite difficult to acquire.

Hostilities halted publication in 1940.



AMERICAN KENNEL GAZETTES

Columns of the Crane Era

American Kennel Gazettes with Mary Crane breed columns from the 1930s were of interest.

Gazettes with Mary Crane columns were easier to acquire than the many European publications that included Pyrenees news.

We also collected a number of the special Christmas issues of that era, very well done and attractive issues.



Milanollo St. Amant
Owner: Lady Sybil Grant

Pyreneans On Early Magazine Covers

 

A variety of pre-war magazines from France and England featured a Pyrenean on the cover or, featured quality in-depth articles about the breed.

Though not plentiful, "some" were out there, somewhere, and were quite a challenge to acquire!

Two of our early French magazines with Pyrenean covers are featured in our History section.

A. Croxton Smith was the editor of THE KENNEL, shown on left. He and his wife owned Pandora, a much loved Pyrenean. Smith was very prominent in the British dog fancy.



Other early magazines from the USA and England

Early select issues of Dog News, Dog World, Our Dogs, Kennel and Bench, The Kennel, and similar publications yielded a variety of articles and photographs featuring the breed by a variety of authors.

Also, in the early Crane era a variety of fashionable publications catered to societal fanciers of the horse, the dog and field sports.

Great Pyrenees articles, photographs, and advertisements were occasionally found in these publications.

Advertiser's Proof for review prior to publication in Nov. 1936 issue.

Mary Crane wrote extensively, advertised extensively, and vigorously promoted the breed.



Livestock Guardian Dogs Mountain Dogs Ancestors

We considered it important to include books and historic articles concerning the various Livestock Guardian Dog breeds and the various Mountain Dog breeds in our collection.

What we could acquire was acquired on the Maremma, the Anatolian, the Akbash, the Kuvasz, the Komondor, the Tibetan Mastiff, Dogo Argentino, the Saint Bernard, and other breeds who performed similar historic tasks as the Pyrenees breed or, shared a possible relationship to the Pyrenean.

We also sought out old titles and articles on several herding breeds including the Beauceron, Briard, Bouvier des Flandres, and of course, the Pyrenean Shepherd.

We researched a variety of theories about the ancestry of the Pyrenean.

And we enjoyed reading various breed histories that claim or speculate the Pyrenean as part of their heritage.





Great Pyrenees
and
Antiquarian Books

A number of important and interesting Great Pyrenees references appeared in the works of early dog historians.

Historic References

We acquired a large number of better dog volumes and encyclopedic works with Great Pyrenees references.

It was interesting to locate unrecorded historic Pyrenean references published in scholarly dog works of centuries past.

Dog History & Illustrations

Also we collected early dog volumes and sets, both for their historic dog coverage of many breeds as well as their grand illustrations.

Of particular interest were better sets and volumes from the Mid 19th Century through the Early 20th Century.

Some of our favorite dog history and illustrated dog books
from the Mid 19th - Early 20th Centuries.

Four of these titles are significant in Great Pyrenees history.

How A Simple Beginning Escalated

1923 edition

Several Pyrenees and related breed references and photographs.

After reading our first Great Pyrenees history book in 1971, we were determined to acquire every Great Pyrenees history book.

Also, we decided to acquire old dog history books and other breed books with Pyrenean references.

After forty years the first arrivals to our collection still remain memorable: THE NEW BOOK OF THE DOG, Robert Leighton one volume ed; THE DOG BOOK, James Watson one volume ed; HUTCHINSON'S DOG ENCYCLOPEDIA, red cloth three volume ed; and the von Stephanitz THE GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG IN WORD AND PICTURE, 1923 edition.

While each had Pyrenean references, each book also had great breed histories and illustrations for many other breeds. Really was quite fascinating to read through the old dog books.

We were off to a good start in building a dog book library.

We decided to also collect all better dog breed and dog history books.

So it was off to many used and rare book shops, antique shops, and collector's markets, around the country and occasionally out of the country.


I knew we had become serious collectors - when we arrived at a dog show
we found the dog item vendors before we found a grooming space!

We advertised in various publications for dog items "wanted". Also we received dozens of general book seller catalogs and dog dealer catalogs annually.

The Dogue de Bordeaux and the Basset titles - shown right - were part of a nice collection of rare foreign breed monographs and other foreign dog books we acquired in the late '80s.

And we found a few great "pickers" in England, France, Australia and Canada.

Our interests in Great Pyrenees books escalated in less than two years to a growing collection of books about dogs of all breeds and a variety of topics.

A quality dog book of any breed is a dog book worth reading!

We will write at a later time about collecting dog books and building an all - breed dog book library.

     

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VERY RARE
Die Schweizer Laufhunde
 

CLICK to enlarge
WATCH-DOGS
Their Training and Management
Lt Col E H Richardson

Rare Title
CLICK to enlarge

Dogue de Bordeaux
Pierre Megnin

1896



Rare Title

French Bassets
Well Illustrated by Mahler
Circa 1920



Pugs & Pussies c. 1895
Fred Weatherly

Twelve pages of poems about the Pug, the Skye Terrier and, kittens.

Rare, darling little book, 2" x 2 1/2".

All Edges Gilt




Out-of-Print
Antiquarian
Cynogetica

As the years went on, suffice it to say we had a collection of several thousand out-of-print and rare dog books and dog items.

Our collection of dog breed books was quite varied and we likely had "something" on most breeds at one time or another.

For a number of breeds we had an "in-depth" collection of the rarest or better breed titles and related memorabilia for that breed. Some titles we sought out and others we just happened upon.

Some of the breeds for which we had an "in depth" collection included the Collie; Doberman Pinscher; Newfoundland; Airedale Terrier; German Shepherd dog; Mastiff; Tibetan Mastiff; Saint Bernard; Fox Terrier; Irish Terrier; Bulldog; Bull Terrier; American Staffordshire Terrier; Staffordshire Bull Terrier; Sealyham Terrier; Scottish Terrier; Cairn Terrier; Basenji; Pointer; Irish Setter; English Setter; Poodle; Norwegian Elkhound; Basset Hound; Weimaraner; Old English Sheepdog; Boston Terrier; Cocker Spaniel; Border Collie; Schipperke; Shetland Sheepdog; Clumber Spaniel; and Chow Chow among others whose principle old titles we acquired.

And for a variety of breeds we acquired historic and interesting old photographs and other memorabilia.

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SPORTING AND COLORED PLATE BOOKS ORIGINAL DRAWINGS
Fitz Eugene Dixon


Private Dog Book Library

The Horowitz Collection, Limited Edition, 1976, NY, 230 pages plus, 1985 Supplement, 131 pages.

Collection now at the College of William and Mary and the collection is known as the Chapin - Horowitz Collection.

Dog Books Articles

We learned a lot about rare dog book collecting and collections through the articles of John T. Marvin that appeared in the American Kennel (Club) Gazette as well as various other dog publications.

Marvin remains our favorite Gazette writer and general dog publication writer.

Also had the pleasure to meet John Marvin and discuss various dog books, book collections, old dog photographs, and his great articles with him on several occasions.

Private Dog Book Libraries

We acquired and researched the catalogues of a number of private dog book collections including the Peter Chapin Collection of Books On Dogs, the outstanding Sporting Book Library of George Pugh, (George became a good friend), the marvelous Murray and Shirley G. Horowitz Collection, the Prestidge Collection and, the Clifford L. B. Hubbard catalogue of his rare dog book exhibition, among other private collections.

Hubbard's An Introduction to the Literature of British Dogs, 1949, by the way, is a fine resource for the serious collector of better dog books.


Rare Dog Book Exhibition

Catalogue, Part I, of the Doggie Hubbard exhibition of rare dog books, 1968. Annotated.

Hubbard had a world renown dog book collection.


Dog Book Dealer Catalogue

Massey is offering fine dog items from 1570 - 1937 for sale, 697 items. Many breed references. London, 1945, and other issues.

Auction Catalogues

Dog Books Sporting Books Art

Old auction catalogues featuring dog book and sporting book libraries or art collections were also acquired, including catalogues of the David Wagstaff Collection, the Peter A. B. Widener and Joseph E. Wildner Collection, the Fitz Eugene Dixon Collection, and Geraldine R. Dodge Collection, among notable others.

Dog Book Dealer Catalogues

We also had a large collection of dog book dealer's catalogues and lists of items for sale. The old dog book dealer catalogues and the private collection publications proved to be great resources over the years for their details of rare and hard to locate titles.

A Show Catalogue Of DOG Books, Paintings & Prints, offered by Gerald Massey, is an example of a very useful old dog book dealer catalogue.


Auction Catalogue
Dog & Sporting Items

David Wagstaff was a force behind the early days of the AKC Library. Wagstaff was also an AKC Judge.

Many of Wagstaff's outstanding Sporting books and related papers went to the Beinecke Library at Yale University.

Our titles ranged from out-of-print books to antiquarian titles to select cynogetica.

The better dog history authors of the 19th and early 20th Centuries were well represented on our shelves.

So too was quite a variety of notable breed books for many breeds as we find the history and early years of any breed very interesting!

The dog art books included the captivating works of most of the 19th and 20th Century dog artists.

Our favorite dog book era was the mid-19th Century through the early 20th Century, and our general dog book collection tended to focus on this period.

Select cynogetica was admired and acquired. Select cynogetica also eluded us.

Landseer's Dogs and Their Stories

1877

Six chromographs after paintings by Sir Edwin Landseer.

Obtained 39 years ago, this was our first dog art book and is one of our personal favorite dog art books and, favorite dog book covers.



Written by Sarah Tytler,

pseudonym of Henrietta Keddie.
Ladies Dogs
 
Old Dog Book Covers
Many old dog books have well illustrated covers. Some of the covers were illustrated by highly regarded dog artists and are an art form in their own right. This case was a mini display of some covers we enjoyed. Also shown are various books with decorated or attractive back strips or spines. These books are general out-of-print dog books with a few rare dog books in the mix.

The stunning art of G. Vernon Stokes highlights his British Dogs At Work, with his beautiful Pointer cover and spine, above center. Stokes also illustrated Good Gun Dogs by Hardy, top left.

The American Kennel and Sporting Field by Arnold Burgess, is well illustrated by engravings and a bit of a rare title. On right.

The English Cocker Spaniel in America by Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge, with its many beautiful illustrations, is top right.

 

My Dog Friends, center above, features the lovely illustrations of Maud Earl. Cecil Aldin illustrated the Dogs Of Character, just a wonderful book and, T. Ivester Lloyd illustrated his great book Hounds.

 
Display Of Book Covers

 

Maul Earl did the great
Spaniel cover for Memories
by John Galsworthy.

 

Arthur Wardle illustrated the blue covered Rawdon Lee A History and Description of the Collie or Sheep Dog, 1890, on left.

A great Collie cover on Packwood, center, Show Collies Rough and Smooth Coated.

We have a large collection of OP and rare Collie books.

 

 

 

Dorothy P. Lathrop illustrated the charming Pekingese book Puffy and the Seven Leaf Clover, above center. Darling book!

Edwin Megargee illustrated the great Irish Wolfhound book Boru, above left.

 


CLICK to enlarge
The English Cocker Spaniel in America
Geraldine R. Dodge

 

 


Above: Selection of general, old dog books. Most are mid - late 19th Century.


 

THE COLLIE STUD BOOK and SHOW RECORD Vol 1
THE COLLIE STUD BOOK and SHOW RECORD Vol 2
THE COLLIE STUD BOOK and SHOW RECORD Vol 3
 

THE COLLIE STUD BOOK and SHOW RECORD

Containing the pedigrees of all Collies that won a prize at the Collie Club shows,
from June 1885, as well as winners from important shows.
                                         
Edited by Hugh Dalziel, London, 1891 -1892.

The three volume set is exceedingly rare, rarer still in such nice clean condition.

Very few copies recorded in libraries, dog book catalogues or, bibliographies of Collie literature.

Pedigrees of Old English Sheepdogs are also included.

   
Collie Club Stamm Buch cover
Cover
Collie Club Stamm Buch Title page
Title Page
 

Collie Club Stamm Buch

Published in Barmen, Germany October, 1898

One of the rarest early Collie books published in any language.
As with the Dalziel, very few copies are known to exist.


We have a rather large collection of Collie history books and memorabilia.


Great Pyrenees Photographs and Illustrations
 

It was our good fortune to assemble a collection of 19th and 20th Century photographs and illustrations that together present a reasonable pictorial history of the breed.

Antique prints, engravings, and pre - WWII photographs that feature the Great Pyrenees are not plentiful, and through years of effort a modest collection was assembled.


Some of the photographs range from the 1st European Reconstitution period early in the 20th Century and continue through the USA Importation period of the 1930s.

That historical span that includes the Dretzen and de Bylandt 1st Reconstitution period, the post Senac-Lagrange and Cazaux-Moutou 2nd Reconstitution period, through and including the Mary Crane importation era. In plain English, around 1906-1940.

 


Mary Crane with Urdos and Blanchette, America's first
breeding pair registered with the American Kennel Club.

Urdos was America's first Great Pyrenees Champion.


Our collection of photographs included some of the more important Great Pyrenees in the development of the breed in the USA, ranging from the 1930s to the early 1970s. This included a variety of photographs from the kennels of Basquaerie, Cote de Neige, and Quibbletown.

Some of the photos are the original, well known photographs provided by prominent breeders for their use in Great Pyrenees publications. Other photographs include important Great Pyrenees sires, dams, show dogs, events, and even a few old Specialty Show and Sanction Show photographs.


Above: The 1st Sanction Show, 1937.
Held on the grounds of the Crane estate in Needham, MA.
Francis is in the right foreground and Mary is in the center.
Photo produced from original negative.

 

BELOW: Three original Basquaerie Great Pyrenees photographs from the early 1950s. Each photograph was taken on the lawns of Basquaerie. Each photograph is mounted on photographers board and has a clear protective cover held on by photographers tape, as shown with Beau. The small photograph laid in with Coquette is a photo of the Crane's home. Each photo on board measures 9 1/2 inches X 11 1/2 inches overall.

Photos from collection of Author.

Basquaerie Santa Paula
Ch Sunset Knoll Basquaerie Beau
Ch Basquaerie Coquette
Basquaerie Santa Paula
Ch Sunset Knoll Basquaerie Beau
Ch Basquaerie Coquette

In addition to a large collection of photographs from Basquaerie, Cote de Neige, Quibbletown and Du Val D’ Aure, we also acquired photographs from La Colina, La Shan, Combermere, Castellan, and Soleil, as well as the more recent era photos of Cobberidge and Elysee.



Surprise In The Mail

We approve
We purchased

One memorable day a collection of du Val D'Aure photographs unexpectedly arrived in the mail box.

About a year earlier we posted a "Wanted Ad" for Great Pyrenees items in a dog collectors' magazine and in response an overseas dealer sent us a packet of Pyrenean photographs "On Approval".

This completely unexpected packet, labeled "photographs" and bearing the return address of a prominent dealer, was rapidly opened and out of the packet came the photos.

The top photograph was that of a beautiful litter playing with their breeders. We immediately recognized the breeders as the Carels, proprietors of the 1930s French kennel du Val D'Aure, known as outstanding breeders and exhibitors of Pyreneans.

Among the lovely puppies was Ibos, who would become an important sire in breed history. The Ibos litter was sired by Hermes and Halia, a brother and sister from a breeding of Ch. Estat d'Argeles and Ch. Monne de Langladure.

Another photograph featured the renown and impressive litter sired by Estat out of Monne.

Here the Carels pose with their six young adult Pyrenees including Hermes and Halia, and their dam Monne. A similar photo had been provided to several old dog books.

Several other du Val D'Aure photographs and photo postcards were also part of the collection, and Mme. Carel's hand written comments about her dogs appear on the back of the photos.

The bloodlines of the dogs of du Val D'Aure are important lines in the history of the breed.

The Carel collection also provided additional generations in photographs of our dog's ancestors.

 


 

Small Bowl Symbolizes Big History

 
 

Great Pyrenees Club Of America Inc 1939 Trophy

This trophy was donated by Marjorie Butcher, Cote de Neige, to be
awarded to the Best American Bred Dog in 1939.

This trophy was awarded to Basquaerie Houx de Noel, owned by
George Lord, Combermere, Ontario, Canada,
and bred by Mary Crane, Basquaerie (Massachusetts).

The sire of Houx de Noel was the famous CH. Ibos du Val D'Aure,
and his dam was Ch. Arizes de Soum of Basquaerie.

Houx de Noel was the sire of Ch. Lawrence of Combermere,
a dog whose place in breed history is firmly ensconced,
and who is so famously pictured on the steps of his home at La Colina.

Destined for an important career as a sire and show dog,
Houx de Noel and the other beautiful Pyrenees of George Lord’s Combermere
had their Pyrenean careers curtailed with the advent of WW II.




Early French Pyrenees Postcards

Owners
Breeders
Prize Winners

We really enjoyed collecting the early French photo postcards featuring the Pyrenees!

These century old postcards richly enhance the early photographic record of the breed in France.

A number of these photo cards feature Pyrenees dogs of de Soum, du Pic Du Jer, du Val D'Aure, de Truchard, and de Careil, all prominent French breeders.

Other early French photo cards feature quite an interesting array of unidentified Pyrenees dogs and their presumed owners, pictured in the mountains, the pastures, on the streets, and other locales.

Several of the early photo cards feature prize winning Pyrenees from early French shows.

We acquired about 150 various early French Pyr cards, and of those cards about 50 are identifiable dogs of the day or from identifiable breeders. When we avidly collected this was a decent sized collection though no doubt other postcard collections today now surpass those numbers.

Most of the early Pyrenees cards were commercially published for sale to the general public. Other cards were privately published for the personal use of the breeders or owners.

Also we enjoyed collecting tobacco cards, tea cards, stereoview cards, and the few known stud cards featuring the Pyrenean.

Collecting early Pyrenees postcards many years ago was educational, enjoyable and, very competitive!




THE PYRENEES IN ART

Early art featuring the Great Pyrenees was neither plentiful nor easy to acquire.

An occasional engraving or print may be offered by a dog item dealer or a dog show vendor. And on occasion the Pyrenees collector might "find something" in an antique shop or collectors marketplace.

Should a truly nice painting or drawing be publicly offered for sale, it was quickly sold.

Nice early Pyrenean art was a rare commodity.

Old Pyrenean Prints and Engravings

We acquired a number of 19th Century era engravings and prints that were decisively Pyrenees and - whenever possible - we also acquired the original source if known from which the old engraving or print was likely extracted.

We wanted to see the Pyrenean image "in its original context", and, to read any text or commentary that may accompany the image.

Most were black and white steel engravings, or printed in muted tones.

A New Find of An Old Print

We were pleased to acquire a very early 19th Century print featuring a large blaireau Pyrenean standing between its sheepherder masters, a print rich color in color and powerful in image we were unaware of.

We searched through the Crane books as Mary Crane showed many pieces of her art collection and this print was not pictured in her books. And we searched all other Pyrenean publication that available to us that may show art works.

This print could be not located in any dog art book, dog history book, dog dealer catalog, or dog collector catalog we had available to consult.

This print was shown to and was unknown to our old friend and breed authority Paul Strang.

Paul was surprised and excited to see this "new find". Over many decades Paul visited Pyrenean breeders world-wide, including Basquaerie, viewed numerous Pyrenees collections, and this was the first time he saw this very old print. We did speculate the dog could be from the Spanish side of the mountains.

This is part of what makes Great Pyrenees collecting rewarding, locating an interesting "new old find".


1851







Pyrenean Art Coup

Twenty-four years after we started collecting, we were offered the opportunity to acquire a pair of original drawings of Pyrenees dogs.

The seller sent particulars of the drawings and a photograph. The drawings were done in France early in the 20th Century.

We immediately recognized the historic significance of the drawings, as we well knew "history and story" of the Pyrenees dogs in the drawings. These were the Pyrenees dogs of the 1st Reconstitution Period.



Pyrenees Art of the 1st Reconstitution

The dogs in the drawings were three of the dogs acquired in the Pyrenees Mountains by Th. Dretzen and Count de Bylandt during their historic 1907 journey through the Pyrenees!

They traveled throughout the mountain range in search of breed specimens deemed to be true and typical Pyreneans. This was part of Dretzen's effort to reconstitute the true Pyrenean in France, referred to as the 1st Reconstitution Period.

The Pyrenees drawings are the original works of art portraying three of the Pyrenees dogs acquired during the 1st Reconstitution. The drawings were featured in a French magazine commemorating the revival, the "Reconstitution" of the Pyrenees breed in France.





FRIENDS, TRUST and PRIVATE COLLECTIONS

As the years went by and our collection grew and matured, it was our good fortune to acquire a number of historic breed treasures from several friends, all prominent breeders and exhibitors whose own histories were firmly ensconced in the record books.

These were close friends who recognized the respect and the high regard we held for the preservation of Great Pyrenees history.

We were entrusted with original old photographs, letters, pedigrees, albums, books, ephemera and more from their personal collections.

Printer's Block
Used in Crane
1st ed., 1936
The book's caption for this photo is
"The Great Pyrenees Invade America".

Mary with Urdos and Blanchette
1938
Rare
Original
Great Pyrenees Guidebook
Compiled By and Signed By
Mary Crane and Paul Strang
Printer's Block
Used in Crane
2nd ed., 1941
Mary with
the famous French "Brothers"
Estat and Estagel
The majority of our Great Pyrenees collection we personally acquired from every source imaginable.

Through the generosity of friends we were gifted with additional unique or rare Great Pyrenees items that enhanced our collection and for which we remain appreciative.



Medicinal kennel spoon from Basquaerie Kennels,
used in the early 1930s.



Our Goal
Preservation of Historic Great Pyrenees Items



The first Great Pyrenees book we purchased in 1971, the 1949 Crane book for $10.00, ignited a passion to delve into the history of the breed through the written word and the photographed image.

Original Goal

Our original goal was to collect, read, and learn from every Great Pyrenees book and historic breed reference we could acquire.

We believe to best understand the standard of a breed, the form and function of a breed, one must clearly understand the original purpose and the history of the breed.

Our original goal, to continuosly learn about our breed, remains with us today.

Breed History Lost

In the 1970s we became aware that many items of historic Pyrenean significance were disposed of or otherwise dispersed.

We learned of the occassional breed items or collections that included breed history were simply disposed of when past breeders and exhibitors were no longer interested or active in the breed. Those items of Pyrenean history were lost forever.

We became aware of early photographs, pedigrees, films, correspondence, trophies, and more from early exhibitors that met untimely fates, their owners unaware of or disinterested in locating others who may enjoy and respect their collections.

As there were no credible efforts to preserve collections of Pyrenean photographs, pedigrees, films, letters, documents and more, and no repository existed for their preservation, so on occassion "out they went".

Our Preservation Goal

In the 1970s our personal goal became the preservation of Great Pyrenees items of historic significance in the history and development of the breed, a goal that would span our four decades involvement in Great Pyrenees.

As our 40 year collecting interest winds down, we know we achieved our personal preservation goal by acquiring numerous individual items as well as several collections of Great Pyrenees photographs, negatives, films, pedigrees, letters, books, art works and more that were absolutely destined for disposal or at best, wide ranging dispersal.

On a few occassions the collection owners were surprised anyone would have a sincere and serious interest in receiving their old photos and assorted Pyrenees items.

For instance, during an early 1980s visit to a renown kennel, the breeders were surprised and thrilled someone was so well versed and interested in their "old dogs" of decades past and the dogs of their early mentor.

Over the ensuing years the kennel provided this writer with perhaps 200 early photographs and related memorabilia of their early dogs and those of their mentor - photographs otherwise destined for disposal.

We believe we preserved memorabilia and photographs from at least eight kennels of prominence that otherwise faced disposal or at best, wide ranging dispersal.

There are today just a few serious collectors of Great Pyrenees historic memorabilia and few breed historians and preservationists around the world.

The art of collecting breed history combined with an in-depth study and research of Great Pyrenees history is becoming a lost art.






Dog Collectors
Club Archivists
Breed Historians

We hold in high regard our fellow collectors who endeavor and endure to preserve the history of their chosen breeds!

Over the years we enjoyed talking with fellow collectors, archivists, and historians in many breeds of dogs.

And we enjoyed being a resource for a number of collectors, archivists, and historians to whom we could offer interesting collectibles or rarities in their breed.

We know the hard work required to acquire and preserve interesting breed items for your club or for your personal collections.

To all of our fellow collectors in all breeds, we wish you the very best of success in your collecting efforts!

The card above features the venerable Prof. Monroe
and his beloved Basque, the first Great Pyrenees born in America!

 

Crane 2nd ed
Enlarged and expanded
from the 1st edition.

French Dog Show Photo Montage circa 1910
Photo gift of C. Seaver Smith

An impressive dog show entry, these dogs likely represent the original stock
from the 1st Reconstitution or their first generation offspring.
Owned and shown by M. & M. T. Dretzen.

Fath Medallion

Fath Medallion

Study in Bronze of Tri International Champion Estat D' Argeles
Sculpture executed from life by Artist Richard Fath, 1937
Collection: Snowbear Great Pyrenees

In the art of Richard Fath

is symbolized the origins and history
of the Great Pyrenees breed in the USA.

 

 

 

 

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