A Marvellous Stylised Mid-20thC Life-Sized Painted Composite Model of a Harlequin Great Dane


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Object Description

The quite marvellous highly stylised life-sized hand crafted and painted composite model of a fully-grown adult Harlequin Great Dane dog, probably female, with enunciated features in the distinctive black and white lifelike pigments, freestanding, survives from the middle section of the twentieth century.

Object History


Object Literature

The stylisation of the features to the face of the animal is almost Daliesque being comical, angular, jaunty and playful, her expression still manages to be naturalistic with a mixture of watchfulness, humour and perhaps the look of; ‘please fill my bowl’.

It is difficult to say who created the model with any certainty but undoubtedly had a sense of humour along with a high amount of artistic skill to proportion the animal brilliantly, with such fluidity, yet still managing to exaggerate the features to make them more prominent, especially to the stilt like legs and pointed face. She may well have been used as a shop or window display piece in a department store.

The harlequin great dane is a breed of large dog, noted for its unique black or liver spotted coat and it’s large and imposing appearance belies its friendly nature. They are known for seeking physical affection with their owners, and the breed is often referred to as a “gentle giant” with good stamina. Indeed, this particular example can stand still and quiet for hours on end and suffer no ill side effects at all, which is rather remarkable.

This is simply gloriously decorative and masses of fun, and probably, unique too.

Object Condition

Remaining in relatively good overall condition, the piece stands soundly, and in one piece, and there is some attractive wear to the paintwork, especially to the extremities, namely the feet, ears and face. There are two areas of loss and surface cracking, where one can see the composite mixture underneath the painted top surface. one to one of the top hind legs and another at the front leg on the same flank; the piece has obviously had a fall at some stage and these two areas were damaged in the process on the same side. Other than these areas there are a few small repairs and small hairlines here and there.

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)1767 640995
+44 (0)7729 213013

Dealer Location

The Onion Barn
Shoe Cottage
15 High Street
MK44 3NL

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