Queen Victoria was the first to see the Collie’s potential as more than just a
Shepherd’s labourer. Adding the breed to others in the Royal Establishment after admiring their cleverness whilst holidaying on her Scottish Estates and as Victorian Society invariably followed ‘The Court’ the Rough Collie quickly established itself as a pampered drawing room accessory.
This newly found position exemplified
by several famous artists who featured
the Collie in a variety of guises including
highland scenes, as fashionable
accessories, and cute chocolate box
themes, often depicting children with
collie at play, that were so popular with
Victorian and Edwardian families.
The first two images, both by popular world
renowned artists, are typical of the type of
art work which helped to maintain the
Collie’s popularity throughout the late
Victorian and the whole of the Edwardian
Top right — Two Collies set in a
Highland landscape by John Emms
(1843-1912) — although neither Collie is
identified it is believed the tricolour is
Ch Rutland while the sable and white,
originally considered to be a dog, is now thought to be Rutland’s daughter Barton Sable, founding bitch of Sir Humphrey de Trafford’s Collies, and it is known that Sir Humphrey commissioned Emms to paint his English Setters.
Above — Well Done — this image of a family group cheering on a young equestrian who is accompanied by the family’s Collie is typical of Arthur J Elsley’s (1860-1952) work and of the popular family cult of the period.
Bottom right — Share & Share Alike — the Collie - Companion bond graphically illustrated in this charming image of a small child sharing her picnic with her canine friend — circa 1964
Royal patronage continues even now although since the death of King
Edward VII’s widow, Queen Alexandra, in 1925 the Collie has enjoyed a
rather lower profile and public support for the breed took a downward turn
during the late twenties and throughout the thirties.