Antique papier-mâché Bulldog growler toy in excellent original condition dating from circa 1890. The body of the Growler from the neck down is a single piece of papier-mâché, attached to a papier-mâché head with a hinged jaw and glass eyes. The feet have wooden castors half-embedded, and a chain from the Growler's neck allows it to be pulled along a hard surface like a dog on a leash. The chain disappears into the back of the Growler's neck, and connects to an internal mechanism so that when the chain is pulled, the dog's head moves, its mouth opens, and it emits a growl or bark. The joint between the head and neck is concealed by a wide black badger-hair fringed collar. These collars were almost ubiquitous on real Bulldogs of the era (and up to the early 1930's) and were 'fashionable' representations of the badger or boar hair collars worn by their earlier "working" Bulldog ancestors. Although most of the early Bulldogs were not working dogs, it was apparently fashionable for them to still wear the authentic badger-hair collar, and the papier-mâché toys followed the convention. The outside of the body and head is covered in a 'plush' coating to approximate the look and feel of the short hair of the breed. Rare item in such great condition.
Measures: 56cm long x 25cm tall x 23cm wide