In response to this post about vintage ceramic animals, Butts In The Air, Like They Just Don’t Care, Nina writes:
I came across an old blog post of yours when I was researching a vintage dog figurine for my Etsy shop. It has it’s butt up in the air and a hole where the tail should be. Ring any bells? Anyway, I thought I’d write you, firstly to ask if you ever found out what the use was for these kitschy creatures? And secondly, to let you know, in case you’re still collecting them that I just put one up in my shop.
Great blog! I’ll be back to check in, I do love the kitsch!
Here’s the vintage little dog Nina has:
To answer your question, Nina, the fact is that hubby & I still debate this. He still thinks there was some sort of a “bobble” type tail.
Butt However until I see one like that I remain unconvinced…
I often look for such items. So far, I have not found any (other than more modern plastic ones — which look quite different). However, you do see quite a number of dogs with spring tails. Most people are familiar with the antique postcards featuring dogs with metal spring tails.
There are other examples too. Like these antique cast iron dogs with spring tails. You can see that the metal spring tails are attached to a “docked” nub of a tail on the dogs, which would not work on the vintage ceramic pieces we have.
Today, however, I ran into this rather unusual version. This urinating dog is about six inches long, is marked ‘Germany’ on the bottom, and the seller calls it “Rockingham glazed.”
Aside from the dog lifting his leg to pee, this vintage ceramic dachshund is also a decanter of some sort.
The metal spring of a tail is attached to a ceramic piece which holds a cork. The opening for the cork stopper has raised edges, so it is quite different from the vintage ceramic dogs that Nina and I have. Although, I could see that some sort of stopper is a possibility… But then what would these little ceramic dog decanters for?
I’m wondering if this was some sort of inkwell for a dog-themed novelty desk set. (See also: Scotty The Pup Desk Accessory.) Perhaps it was a flask?
If you have any info on this dog — or any of these dogs — please let us know!
Image Credits: Antique postcard with bulldog with metal spring tail via Ernies Postcards; cast iron dogs with spring tails from Shusues Collectibles; and the photos of the urinating dog decanter from Orygun Trail Antiques.