We are counting-down the last of the "Dog Days of Summer"—a forty day period scheduled to end on 11 August. To commemorate these waning days of Summer, we'd like to share some of our favorite "canines" from the LEO Design collection. Consider sending one as a gift to your favorite dog lover.
The Russian Wolfhound, despite its imperial bearing, is no palace lap dog. In fact, they were originally developed to hunt wolves with their human masters—a grueling and dangerous activity, indeed. The breed was developed in the 1500's, a cross between the Saluki and other European "Sighthounds." A "sighthound" is a type of dog which hunts with vision and speed (as opposed to "scent hounds" which track game with their advanced sense of smell). Russian Wolfhounds have a wavy top coat and a thick undercoat to keep them warm in the winter (which falls away in the warmer months).
Russian Wolfhounds were so beloved of the Tsars that Russian subjects were not allowed to purchase one. The only way one could obtain a Russian Wolfhound was if the Tsar had given it to you as a gift. The tsars kept busy breeding this favorite dog.
In 1936, the American Kennel Club changed the official name from "Russian Wolfhound" to "Borzoi" (which means "fast"). Another name is "Russian Hunting Sighthound."
These cast iron bookends, made in the Twenties, still retain their pre-1936 name: Russian Wolfhound. The sculptor captured the breeds regal mien—chin raised high—and the wavy coat for which the breed is known. Click on the photo above to learn more about them.
More Dog Day items to come, tomorrow and over the following days.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248