Posted 2 months ago ago
William Hogarth's pug Trump, in Chiswick (Image: Lucinda MacPherson)
Statues are generally commissioned to commemorate important or well-loved figures, so it’s no surprise that dogs have been set in stone several times.
1) Brown Dog, Battersea Park
Battersea Park’s ‘Brown Dog’ statue is one of the most notorious in the city. Located to the North of the site, it can be found along the stretch of path between the Old English Garden and Peace Pagoda.
A statue was originally erected here in 1906, after being commissioned by activists protesting the use of vivisection (experimental surgery conducted on live animals) at University College London.
The bronze sculpture, which was designed by Joseph Whitehead, was intended to memorialise a brown terrier that had been illegally and inhumanely operated on by William Bayliss in front of 60 medical students. It was accompanied by a provocative plaque condemning UCL.
The memorial was frequently vandalised, requiring 24-hour police protection, and sparked a series of clashes known as the Brown Dog riots.
Despite a 20,000-strong petition to save it, the statue was secretly removed by Battersea Council in 1910, in a bid to end the conflict.
A new sculpture by artist Nicola Hicks, which is there today, was later added in 1985. The statue is modelled after her own terrier, called Brock.
The second Brown Dog statue, erected in 1985 (Image: LondonRemembers.com)
2) Trump the Pug, Chiswick High Street
Though it now has other connotations, ‘Trump’ was once associated with renowned 18th century engraver and painter William Hogarth, who had a beloved pooch of the same name.
The pair’s bond was first immortalised in Hogarth’s self-portrait, ‘Painter and his Pug’ (1745), now hanging in the Tate Gallery.
West London residents can also find a model of the duo in Chiswick High Street. Sculpted by Jim Mathieson in 2001, the artwork is just a stone’s throw away from Hogarth’s country retreat.
Patrons included contemporary artist David Hockney, as well as the Hogarth Health Club, the developers of Chiswick Park and Sainsbury’s Local. An extra £10,000 was raised so that Hogarth’s pup could be included alongside his master.
A resin copy of just Trump was later commissioned by the William Hogarth Trust, for The William Hogarth School’s playground, in 2008.
Trump the pug alongside his master, William Hogarth (Image: Lucinda MacPherson)
3) Dogs of Alcibiades, Victoria Park
If you’ve been a visitor to Victoria Park in the past, you’ve probably walked between the next doggie statue – or set of statues, in this case – on our list.
These two identical stone beasts proudly guard the gates of the park’s Bonner Street entrance, in Bethnal Green, East London.
Modelled out of marble, the pair of Molossian Hounds were donated by Lady Aignarth in 1912, and are possibly a monument to her husband.
Their name refers to a 5th century Athenian statesman who was friend of the infamous moral philosopher Socrates. Oddly, Alcibiades actually only owned one dog, though!
Although briefly removed and replaced with replicas by Tower Hamlets Council in 2009, the real pieces were reinstated ahead of the London Olympics and continue to act as wardens of the park.
The Dogs of Alcibiades guard the Bonner Street entrance to Victoria Park (Image: LondonRemembers.com)
4) Dog and Pot, Blackfriars
This fun addition is one for the literary lovers, as well as the dog enthusiasts.
Created to mark the Charles Dickens bicentary in 2012, the Dog and Pot sculpture is a replica of a statue that the world-famous Victorian novelist used to walk past as a 12-year-old child, on his way to work.
He even wrote about seeing ‘the likeness of a golden dog licking a golden pot over a shop door’ when turning into Blackfriars Road each day, in his autobiography.
The original feature, which was actually shop sign, is thought to date from the 16th century. It was previously on display in the Cuming Museum, Elephant and Castle.
Well, thanks to Michael Painter, a carpenter and artist, you can have a similar experience when leaving Southwark Station.
Look up at the lamppost diagonal to the exit and you’ll spot his version, which features a dog carved out of elm tree, and an iron pot.
This statue actually has its own Twitter account, called @dogandpot. Dickens’ great-great-grandson unveiled the statue, too!
Michael Painter’s version of the Dog and Pot sculpture (Image: LondonRemembers.com)