Old-timey Photos

Old-timey (and not so old-timey) photos (not including films)

The goal of the Poodle History Project is to illuminate--by means of an annotated bibliography--the tasks which the Poodle (and his cousins) were "originally bred to do." Because this development predates invention of photography, "old-timey photos" of Poodles are outside our mandate. Nevertheless, here's a determinedly uncomprehensive (and often incomplete) collection of references to still photos and moving pictures in which Poodles appear!

Famous and not so famous photos

Anon. Or did Gertrude Stein take this photo; are these Poodles Basket I or II? Photo of Fernande Olivier with Picasso, after 1904 (but not long after) when both Olivier and Picasso were 23 years old, and she became his "first mistress" (we doubt that). Olivier stands at the left, a white SP at her right side; Picasso stands right, slightly behind, another white Poodle, Moyen, or perhaps a SP puppy, held in his arms. The New York Times Book Review, cover, 5 August 2001, in relation to "Picasso's First Mistress: Fernande Olivier's life was like something out of Zola, then like something out of Colette. A gifted observer, she kept a journal, and in 1904 Picasso entered it. They were both 23.... 10.

Anon. Vintage--looks like 1950s--8"x10" photo of performers (seated woman--is she wearing a "Poodle skirt?"; standing man--white shoes, white pants, coloured jacket sporting big mum, bow tie) with three Standard Poodles and a dachshund. In background are music stands and a drum, and a stand/banner depicting HC separated by the body of a WWII bomber flying straight up. For sale on eBay, 9/9/99. NB: We have an internet printout of this photo, and may someday be able to check if these are the Grimaldis, the famous British clowns Kenneth and Audrey Austin (see Circus dogs).

Anon. Camille Berghmans with her pet dog "Marquis" in Glengarry, circa 1871 from the Glen Foerd on the Delaware Riverfront Estate historical archives ("Glengarry" was eventually renamed "Glen Foerd"). This photo is particularly interesting because of the breadth of the dog's chest.

Bell and Clayton. "White Poodle, c. 1850s". Sixth-plate daguerreotype with applied colouring. White Standard Poodle with undocked tail, in modified Sporting Clip ("Persian lamb"), seated on cushion, with left paw on small "Jenny Lind" adjustable table, looks rather uncomfortable probably because posed and required to be still during exposure time probably in range of several seconds. Velvet cushion inside case is embossed "Bell & Clayton, 142 S.E. Cor. of Chestnut & Fifth St." William B. Becker Collection. Secrets of the Dark Chamber: the art of the American daguerreotype (Washington: National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1995) postcard by Fotofolio, Box 661, Canal Sta. NY, NY 10013 Z586 (ISBN 1-881270-62-9). As of December 2006, see "Photography as a Fine Arf".

Bellocq, E. J. (American, 1873-1949).
Storyville Portrait, New Orleans Prostitute, circa 1912
Silver print on printing-out paper, print by Les Friedlander (American, 1934- ) from Bellocq plate.
Print size not given.
Negative plate is the property of Les Friedlander. No location given.
Woman wearing white undergarments and black stockings, posing on an ironing board, and holding a small white dog with shaved face and paws which appears to be a Toy Poodle.
Bellocq, E.J., Bellocq: Portraits from Storyville, the Red-Light District of New Orleans, reproduced from prints made by Lee Friedlander, introduction by Susan Sontag, interviews edited by John Szarkowski (NY: Random House, 1996), p. 19.

Glover, Harry, Poodles by Glover (NY: Viking, 1974). Nearly 100 photos of Poodles, 24 in colour.

Hawarden, Lady Clementina (1822-65). Dog balancing on two chairs (about 1861). Albumen print from wet collodion-on-glass negative. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Museum no. PH. 457:330-1968. Photographed at 5 Princes Gardens, South Kensington, London. White (or cream) Standard Poodle in grown-out moderate Continental stands balanced between two chairs. See: Dog balancing....

Horst, P. Gertrude Stein was photographed with her white Standard Poodle, Basket, in Paris in 1946 by Horst (copyright) Horst P. Horst, and a postcard printed by Rapoport Printing Corp. (copyright) 1979 Fotofolio, Box 661 Canal Sta., NY, NY 10013. See Companions to genius (and etc.), Stein, Gertrude, for references to other photographs of Basket I and Basket II, now at Yale.

Liebovitz, Annie. "Tammy Wynette, Lakeland, Florida, 1971. " Black and white photograph shows Ms. Wynette with an infant in her arms climbing steps to a brick terrace flanked by white columns (entrance to a house?). In the foreground, on the terrace, a pair of discarded sunglasses and a white TP. TP's face not well defined; something odd about it--looks darker than the rest of the body which looks ice white and--could be wearing a light muzzle or had severe tear staining on cheeks.... Big car in background. Copyright by Annie Leibovitz. Courtesy James Danziger Gallery, New York. Postcard found at the Hirshhorn Museum's gift shop, and submitted to the PHP by MC, October '97.

Lugrin, O.; Clarens (Clarens is on the west end of Lake Geneva, between Vevy and Montreux). 2 7/16" x 4 1/16". Item from a "Civil War Album dated 1868", sold on e-Bay in April 2000 (#314550705). Written under the photo: "'Burdette Mason' with his 'French Poodle'"... Young man wearing dark three-piece suit stands in photo studio, dark heavy drape and dark brocade wall panels in background. Fancy "straight" chair on his right side; at his left sits a Standard Poodle wearing a very alert expression as if someone has just thrown a toy for him; this supposition is supported by the leash grasped very firmly in the man's left hand.

Sherwood, Basil. The French Poodle. An unintelligent man's guide. (London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1962). Black and white photographs, by the author, of Poodles in cute or humorous poses with props (or pieces of clothing). The text, which runs under the photos, consists of lighthearted captions, actual pointers, and some Poodle trivia. Mr. Sherwood also wrote The Bassett Hound: an Unintelligent Man's Guide (1961).

Keep an eye on "the place for pictures on the internet" for interesting latter-day Poodle photos (including press photos: Betty Grable playing with a Poodle), and illustrations (a whiskey advertisement; from a National Geographic article).


Towards the end of the 19th century, printing technology improved greatly, and supported a delightful habit of sending picture postcards and collecting them in albums. By 1900 this practice was general and widespread; until approximately the Great War, even during one-day excursions people might send postcards to those at home. Subjects included the obvious (lakes; the market square) and the less obvious--for example, Poodles!

Postcard collectors possess a rich lode of Edwardian-era Poodle-pix, for example, the postcard which forms the headpiece for this section. We've looked on the eBay auction web-site on 10 August and on 23 August 1998, and have found the following items:

10 August 1998

  • 1900's Poodle postcard Dog Contemplates Move--white Standard Poodle sits beside small girl; both contemplate globe; schoolbag lies in foreground.

  • 1900's Poodle postcard, Van der Dyek photo--head-shot of white Standard Poodle wearing moustache.

  • 1911 Poodle postcard Her Lord and Master--standing child in long dress holds leash of sitting Standard (Moyen?) Poodle.

  • 1900's Possessed woman and Poodle postcard--woman sits, right arm around Mini-sized Poodle on table, facing right.

  • Oldie postcard with Champion Toy Poodle--Toy Poodle, facing right, above: "The Toy Poodle".

  • 1939 mailed Belgian postcard w/Poodle puppy--Bichonesque--front paws on cushion.

  • 1910 Toy French Poodle postcard--small Poodle "sitting pretty".

  • 1908 Beautiful Girl and Poodle postcard (at left). Small girl wearing floppy hat, ruffled white dress, white shoes and stockings, lifts a forefinger in command ("speak") of an attentive white SP, seated.

    23 August 1998:

  • Christmas Dogs Series no. One. Merry Christmas: three small white Poodles peer from the centre of the C.

  • Undated old Poodle profile postcard. Sprig of mistletoe overlaid by circle in which is a headstudy (profile) of a white Poodle wearing an Eton collar.

  • 1903 sitting Poodle Belgian postcard. Young girl, wearing a white dress with puff sleeves, kneels upright, holds up a forefinger in command; opposite, a small white Havanese-ish Poodle wearing a bow tie "sits pretty".

  • 1910-ish Poodle postcard. Small white Poodle sits on a small table.

  • 1910 or so Two Poodles postcard. Someone has written on the back: "1910 era German". In paved dooryard, White Standard Poodle sits, facing forward, large bowl to one side; black Standard Poodle, in historically-correct Continental, walks left to right, behind.

  • 1900's sitting Poodle in plate postcard. Plate, spoon beside, white Poodle puppy sits in plate looking glum. Motto at upper right: "Did you ever feel like a fly in the soup?"

  • Six postcards of Linn's Famous Educated Dogs, copyright 1907. To see four, go to Circus dogs.

  • Hallmark Poodle postcard. Head and shoulders portrait of small parti-coloured Poodle

  • Poodle cigarette cards group, ca 1925 - ca 1930. Three cigarette cards, issued by various companies, including Player and Wills. Head study of white Poodle. Profile of standing white Poodle, facing left. Profile of standing black Poodle, facing left. Interestingly, the black Poodle is in a very moderate Continental--not "big hair".

  • Heureux Anniversaire postcard. White Poodle puppy in wicker basket with purple flowers while another puppy sits nearby, and a bee hovers near. Perhaps Edwardian.

  • Poodle and Big Log postcard set; three of possibly six. Two girls wearing white dresses with low-set dark belts--perhaps sashes--black boots and socks--bare calves--(1910?) are sitting on either end of a plank set on a large log so as to make a see-saw. Large white Standard Poodle in historically-correct Continental (a) sits in profile on the plank directly above the log; (b) lies on the plank above the log nearly filling the space between the two children; (c) sits on the end of the plank while one child sits in the middle. Belgian stamps.

  • Early Champion Rupert Poodle postcard. Black Standard Poodle in moderate (historically-correct) Continental stands facing right, caption: "German Poodle Champion 'Rupert' from an Exhibition in Madison Square Garden." German postcard. He's a handsome fellow, tail about 11 a.m., toes drop from his withers. See Show dogs (conformation exhibition).

  • 1900's Poodle and garland postcards. Pair of postcards, showing lovely young lady gazing through a large floral garland with a large white Standard Poodle; they're both wearing quite a bit of hair.

  • Amitie sincere. Two small children, sheltered by large umbrella, sit on wall beside white Moyen-sized Poodle. French.

    Here's a miscellaneous list of postcard references collected since September 1998:

  • 1938, photographic card issued by John Sinclair Ltd. as part of their "Champion Dogs" series, features text on the back relating to the dog featured on the front, a black Standard Poodle in modern showcoat (Continental), Ch. Stillington Jerome.
  • Studio print postcard ca 1910, small fierce-looking girl in voluminous ruffled dress holding whip in strike-ready position sits in dog-cart decked with flowers drawn by white Standard Poodle in historically-correct Continental with his tail down and he's looking at us with appeal (no wonder!). Motto in upper right: "Fröhliche [gladness; joyfulness; gleefulness] Ostern [Easter]" i.e. Happy Easter. Some Happy Easter!

    For a list of films which star Poodles, please see Circus dogs, fair dogs, music hall and street performers; film stars .

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