About My Fox Terrier Books

Art collectors often talk about provenance, a step-by-step history of a piece of art. For those of you who either buy or are considering purchasing some of the Fox Terrier items I have for sale, I'd like you to know how I came to own some of the incredibly rare pieces in my collection. If you scroll down you can see photos of these books or you can click here to purchase them.

In the late 1970s, while attending dog shows in North Carolina, Harve and I stopped at a number of bookstores. One of these was in Chapel Hill, near the University of North Carolina. Please humor me for a slight digression: During this book buying trip, Harve and I toured the campus of the University. It was years later, when I was bitten by the genealogy bug, that I came to particularly cherish that trip. My grandfather, it turned out was the black sheep of an accomplished family that was intimately involved with the formation of the state of North Carolina and its first University. To my absolute amazement, I found that there were a number of early Governors of the state in our pedigree, including one who had been present, in 1795, when the University of North Carolina first opened. In 1815, his son earned a law degree from UNC. Another Governor ancestor sat on the University's Board of Trustees and donated 20,000 acres to the endowment fund. I was stunned, several years ago, when I came across the drawing pictured here from another relative's papers, housed in the UNC library. It depicts one of the buildings we saw on our trip and was drawn in 1797.

Okay, back to books: We had just found a number of treasures and were paying for our two boxes of finds when I overheard the owner say to an employee, "Gee, too bad we didn't buy Sarah's dog books." Being the generally nosey person that I am, I asked who Sarah was and what dog books she had. Sarah turned out to be one of their regular customers and she had a few old dog books that she wanted to sell. The bookstore owner thought she was asking too much (although he hadn't seen the actual books) and, besides, before me, nobody was buying dog books from his store. We stood around shooting the breeze until I finally wheedled Sarah's name and phone number from him. We made the call and Sarah invited us over.

Once we got to Sarah's place, we trudged up narrow stairs to the dusty attic. It was filled to the brim with stuff that had been left to Sarah by her forebears. We had to move box after box to weave a path through the maze. Sarah finally found an old trunk that had once been owned by her great-grandfather. His name was G.W. Price and he lived in Philadelphia in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He was a Fox Terrier breeder. 

Sarah pulled item after item from the trunk...old hats, a riding crop, business ledgers, a hunting horn...before she got to the stash of dog books at the very bottom. It was worth the wait. I drooled over the dog books that Sarah passed to me, one by one, from that cache of her great grandfather's prized possessions. First came Hugh Dalziel's 1889
The Fox Terrier, always a nice find. (For some reason, the scan appears darker than it actually is.)

Then she handed me a beautiful copy of Harrison's
The Breeding of Show Fox Terriers with a Gallery of Celebrities in the Fox Terrier World, published in 1897. I had seen a listing for a battered copy of this book in a catalog sent out in the early 1970s. I've never seen another copy offered for sale again. And here I was looking at a copy in overall remarkable shape considering its age.
Next came a somewhat worn copy of Rawdon Lee's famous 1890 book, A History and Description with Reminiscences of the Fox Terrier. I flipped through the book, glancing at Lee's invaluable memories and marveling at the incredible illustrations by famed artist Arthur Wardle. He had always been one of my favorites. His drawings just seemed to make those old dogs spring to life.

Finally, there was the complete five volume set of Dalziel's Fox Terrier Stud Books, covering 1888-1891. I had read about the Stud Books in Fox Terrier literature and I thought I'd seen one volume advertised for sale long ago, but I didn't realize that five volumes had been published. (I've never seen these come up for sale in my 40 years of collecting.) Dalziel searched high and low for information for that first volume, writing to everyone who had shown a Fox Terrier in the British Isles in the previous few years. He included not just the typical entries found in any stud book, but also a show record of every dog listed. After the book's publication, people began sending him pedigrees and info about dogs for the second volume. The momentum built and Fox Terrier clubs in England, Scotland, Ireland and on the Isle of Wight supported his efforts.

The project had become so popular (and was so much work for the aging Dalziel) that after the fifth volume The Fox Terrier Club took over Dalziel's work and began publishing the stud books on their own. Dalziel died in 1899.

I'll never know whether Mr. Price bought those Stud Books second-hand or whether they were damaged somewhere in time. As I look more closely at them, each bears a different date (and one has someone else's name on the rear endpage) so apparently Mr. Price had to collect Vol. I & II himself. The rest jibe with the publication dates.The first volume is in rotten shape, with its front cover detached and the second one has a big chunk missing from the front cover. As the books go on, their condition gets progressively better.
It was almost midnight when I discovered, as my Louisiana relatives would say, the little lagniappe left for me by Mr. Price. Those of you who like Cajun cooking will recognize the term which translates, roughly, as "a little something extra." There, between two pages in one of the Stud Books, was a battered piece of paper that had probably been placed there more than 80 years ago. It had been creased for so long that it came apart in my hands. The little brochure bore the date, in Mr. Price's writing, of 1891 and, as I peered at it, I realized it was a flyer from an auction sale of Fox Terriers held on behalf of the famous Warren Kennels, owned at the time by Lewis and Winthrop Rutherfurd. The older brother, Lewis, would die early, but Winthrop carried on.


The name Winthrop Rutherfurd was instantly familiar to me. There's a section about him in one of my all-time favorite dog books, Champion of Champions, which is the story of the great Ch. Nornay's Saddler. The book talks about the day Saddler's owner received a summons to bring this new Smooth Fox, who so many people were talking about, to Rutherfurd's huge estate in New York. It's a fascinating anecdote that really brings the man who was known as "the grand old sportsman of Fox Terriers" to life. Hint: he had a wicked sense of humor and a penchant for practical jokes.

Over the years, I learned more about the Rutherfurds and their Fox Terriers. Lewis and Winthrop got their first Fox Terrier in 1876. Supposedly, the little dog was stolen in Liverpool and smuggled into the U.S, where the Rutherfurds purchased the little tyke from a seaman. When they grew up, they began to breed Fox Terriers at the family estate in Allamuchy, New York. It was a huge place, with wide valleys and dense woods that was said to be one of the finest game preserves in the area.

My old battered copy of the Westminster catalog for 1882 shows that team Rutherfurd entered 17 Smooths. The duo would become a fixture at this event. In 1883, they began using the kennel name
Warren, which would become synonymous with outstanding Smooth Fox Terriers.

The two brothers were among the founders of the American Fox Terrier Club. Lewis (who died in 1900) was the Club's first President, serving from 1885-86. Winthrop went on to serve as President for over 30 years.

It was the little bitch at the right, Ch. Warren Remedy, that would earn Winthrop Rutherfurd a lasting place in the history of dogs in America. This lovely little pen and ink drawing, from 1908, was the work of esteemed artist Gustav Muss-Arnolt who drew over 170 such portraits for the AKC Gazette. Ch. Warren Remedy won Best in Show at Westminster in 1907, 1908 and 1909. To this day, she remains the only dog to have ever topped Westminster three times.

NOTE: I don't want to digress again, but you can click here if you want a little juicy historical tidbit involving Winthrop Rutherfurd.

That night I sat propped up in bed, holding in my hand that brochure for an auction of dogs from the famed Warren Kennels. It took place on Friday, Feb. 27, 1891 at the American Horse Exchange, 1644 Broadway, in New York City. "Terriers can be seen at the Horse Exchange Thursday afternoon and Friday till sold," it reads.

I read the descriptions of some of the dogs offered for sale and was glad that Mr. Price had jotted down the selling prices next to each entry. The most expensive Fox Terrier in the auction was a bitch,
Warren Sparkle, who went for the princely sum of $82.50. (That would be over $2,000 today.)

No. 25. WARREN SPARKLE. [born] July '88. Ticked body; by Ch. Splauger---Buz. This handsome bitch, dam of Warren Dandy, No. 4, is a great chance for breeders; very short in back, well carried ears and a capital shower, having won first, puppy class, New York, special for best puppy, second novice and fourth open, '89.

No. 5. WARREN TRIPPER. May '90. Tan marked head; by Valens---Warren Testy. See No. 1. This dog has beautiful legs and feet, good ears and a capital hard coat. A very suitable stud dog for small bitches; is very fast and an excellent courser.

When I finished reading each of the entries, I sat back. I always advise people not to place papers in the books destined for their collections. Now I was mouthing a silent prayer of thanks to Mr. Price for tucking this little gem into one of his books.

There was one final gift that was tucked into another of Mr. Price's books. It's a partially filled in pedigree for a bitch named Dame Dalby, sired by Dalby and out of South Cheshire Cissy (or Gissy). Her grandfather was Despoiler, a dog I'd just seen pictured among the doggy celebrities in the Harrison book I'd just purchased. And, the breeder was listed as Francis Redmond.

Francis Redmond was England's most important Fox Terrier breeder of the time. He began with the breed in about 1870 and a succession of top winning dogs came from his kennels. Most were Smooths, but he did have some Wires, too. It was generally acknowledged that, in the late 1800s, he had the finest kennel of Fox Terriers in the world.

How did this pedigree come into Mr. Price's possession? The handwriting on the form is clearly different from that of Mr. Price as it appears in the other books. Was Mr. Price in contact with Francis Redmond and was he offered
Dame Dalby for purchase?
We know, in fact, that Mr. Price didn't purchase Dame Dalby, because she appears in this very famous painting by Arthur Wardle, known as the Totteridge XI. Mr. Redmond is said to have peered over Wardle's shoulder as he painted his dogs. That's Dalby sitting in the straw and his daughter, Dame Dalby is just to his left.

As I write this and prepare to sell these books and items, I often think of Mr. Price and what he would think about it. I'm sure he would have preferred to spawn a line of descendants who were Fox Terrier breeders for whom his books would continue to be a valuable resource. Sorry, Mr. Price, your great granddaughter Sarah was a Bulldog owner. Barring that, he would probably have wished that the books go to someone else with Fox Terriers. Strike two. But, if I could speak to Mr. Price, I'd tell him how much I have loved his books over the years and how happy I was to have them in my collection. Now, Mr. Price has another shot at it. It would be both his wish and mine that these books finally take up residence in the library of a serious Fox Terrier fancier.
UPDATE: I love the internet and its ability to bring folks together. One of the people who read the article about Mr. Price's books was a Mississippi dog book collector and dealer named Annette Hurst, of Torwen Books. Annette seemed to recall that she had two copies of Vol. II of the Fox Terrier Stud Books in her collection. She went to make sure and, when she opened one, she discovered that it had presented "with compliments" to L. H. Rice, by none other than Mr. Price. Small world! So, once again, I have to thank Mr. Price not only for his books, but for introducing me to a new friend.