A leather and brass collar belonging to one of the greatest writers of the 19th century has sold at auction for $11,599.
That is one sturdy and very cool dog collar. You can imagine Dickens’ hands buckling it around his dog’s neck. Being that the collar is 23 inches, it probably wasn’t for one of his smaller dogs. Dickens’ Pomeranian, Mrs. Bouncer, was not likely the wearer.
The description on the Bonhams web page states that “Like many Victorians, Dickens maintained a strong fondness for animals, dogs in particular.”
It then goes on to quote from an 1870 article in the Atlantic shortly after Dickens death:
“All animals which he took under his especial patronage seemed to have a marked affection for him. Quite a colony of dogs has always been a feature at Gad’s Hill. When Dickens returned home from his last visit to America, these dogs were frequently spoken of in his letters. In May, 1868, he writes: ‘As you ask me about the dogs, I begin with them. The two Newfoundland dogs coming to meet me, with the usual carriage and the usual driver, and beholding me coming in my usual dress out at the usual door, it struck me that their recollection of my having been absent for any unusual time was at once cancelled. They behaved (they are both young dogs) exactly in their usual manner; coming behind the basket phaeton as we trotted along, and lifting their heads to have their ears pulled,a special attention which they receive from no one else. But when I drove into the stable-yard, Linda (the St. Bernard) was greatly excited, weeping profusely, and throwing herself on her back that she might caress my foot with her great fore-paws. M.’s little dog, too, Mrs. Bouncer, barked in the greatest agitation, on being called down and asked, ‘Who is this?’ tearing round and round me like the dog in the Faust outlines.’ “
And there’s a bit of dog-based literary history for your Wednesday reading pleasure!