About Me

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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

sample dogs

Image courtesy of York Museums Trust :: http://yorkmuseumstrust.org.uk :: CC BY-SA 4.0
1844, England: Emma Stead, age 12, works away on her sewing practice, creating this gorgeous sampler in colored wools on linen.
Perhaps these were the family dogs.  Excellent work.  I certainly couldn't stitch so finely.
To learn more about samplers, try this article at the Victoria & Albert Museum's website.

Monday, September 26, 2016

the fashionably dignified dog

From a book that supposedly discusses dogs of all nations (and then goes on to ignore most of said nations), here's some words on the Pekingese:

Color: All colors are allowable—red, fawn, black, black and tan, sable, brindle, white and parti colors. Those with black masks and “spectacles” around the eyes and lines to ears are the most appreciated.
Weight: A. 10 to 18 lbs.; B. Under 10 lbs.
This is probably the most fashionable pet dog now in vogue. His character is full of dignity and consummate pride, and disgust for anything menial or common. (?? - curator) His head is massive, broad, wide and flat between the ears and eyes. The eyes should be large, dark, prominent, round and lustrous. “Stop” deep. Ears heart-shaped, drooping and well feathered. Muzzle very short, broad and wrinkled. He has a heavy—fronted body and light hind quarters, and the great coat on the frill and neck give him a lion-like appearance. The coat should be long, straight and flat, with dense under-coat and well feathered on thighs, legs, tail and toes.

-- from Mason, W. Esplin. (1915). Dogs of all nations. [San Francisco?]: [publisher not identified]. 99.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

raminou parks it

thanks wikiart.org (PD)
1920, Paris: Suzanne Valadon decides to paint some luscious folds and rich colors, but how to set them off perfectly?  No worries.  As any cat knows, what better foil for fine textiles than fur?  You must agree with me that her trusty frequent model, Raminou the ginger cat, appears most assured that a cat's place is dead center.  Valadon (1865-1938) is generally associated with the French Post-Impressionsts, such as Toulouse-Lautrec; this movement in a nutshell rolled together what the artist wanted to see with what he or she felt about it.  So not so much about verisimilitude; here I believe it's more about the sheer fun of tackling these intricate drapings and jewelled colors, and another great excuse to take - make - a picture of the cat.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

christina rossetti's "a word for the dumb"

A Word for the Dumb
Pity the sorrows of a poor old Dog
Who wags his tail a-begging in his need:
Despise not even the sorrows of a Frog,
God's creature too, and that's enough to plead:
Spare Puss who trusts us purring on our hearth:
Spare Bunny once so frisky and so free:
Spare all the harmless tenants of the earth:
Spare, and be spared:--or who shall plead for thee?

 - Christina Rossetti, a powerful poet and a sister of Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

vintage wordless wednesday

purchased eureka ca 2012

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

new lions, new life

courtesy the british library (cc0 1.0 universal PD)
Not pets (I should hope not), but too strange and beautiful to pass up.  This illustration of lions breathing life into their cubs is found at the British Library, a manuscript cataloged as Royal 12 C XIX (citation page here): a bestiary dating from the 1st quarter of the 13th century.  Want to see the entire bestiary chapter?  You can.
What's even more charming about this is the deeper meaning behind the illustration.  Newborn lions were often believed to sleep as one dead for their first three days of life, until their parents roared to bring them to life (or, as here, breathed it within them).  This was used as an illustration of the Resurrection, not only of Christ, but of all those saved.  For examples of various bestiaries' entries on lions, check out this page over at The Medieval Bestiary.

Monday, September 19, 2016

in which queen victoria supports a dog's right to worship

I've read about every biography of Queen Victoria there is, but I'd never run across this pleasant anecdote until today.  I'm always glad to read evidence of Victoria's sense of humor; she did have a robust one, but you have to dig hard through the material to find it.
In the earlier days, when the queen first came to Balmoral, she regularly attended Old Crathie Church, an unpretentious little building, upon whose site the new one now stands; and it is said that she used to set a salutary example to many of the visitors who came only to stare, by her devoutness and close attention to the service, always finding with her own hands the passages of the Scriptures quoted, and joining heartily in the singing. The worthy minister had a large Newfoundland dog that invariably escorted him to the kirk, gravely followed him up the pulpit stairs, where he lay down and remained perfectly quiet until the service was over. One of her majesty's attendants, thinking it unseemly for a big dog to be seen in church, remonstrated with the minister for allowing his four-footed friend to come, and possibly annoy her majesty. The minister asked whether the queen had complained of the dog. "Oh, no," said the attendant, "I should not like her majesty to need to complain." "Very well," said the minister, "the dog shall remain at home." Next Sabbath, of course, the dog's place was vacant. Not long afterwards the minister dined at the castle, when the queen in her pleasant way said to him: "What has become of your dog?" The minister explained that he understood that it annoyed her majesty and had, therefore, kept it at home. Her majesty smiled and said that the dog was "no annoyance," and she hoped "its church-going habits would not be interfered with in any way." So the following Sabbath the dog occupied his usual "sitting" at the top of the pulpit stairs.
- Excerpted from Arthur Beavan in Shriner, C. A. 1853-1945. (1920). Wit, wisdom and foibles of the great: together with numerous anecdotes illustrative of the characters of people and their rulers ... 2d ed. New York: Funk and Wagnalls. 622.