OF THE AFGHAN HOUND
(Steve Tillotson, October 2013)
This article should really be about a short reference about the Afghan hound published in 1884. But seeing as the article also mentions Lily Langtry I couldn't resist adding some info on Lily at the end of the page. My thanks to Debbie Blackstone who gave me the Lily link and to Wikipedia for bio info on her. Right then, first up the Afghan hound content -
1 AFGHAN HOUND 1884 AT JAMRACH'S MENAGERIE, LONDON
The relevent bit of this article (typed up by Debbie Blackstone, thank you) is this -
"An Afghan hound in the next cage is, however, eager to make our acquaintance. The strange dog has the head and general build of a greyhound, but his ears are long, hairy, and silky like those of a setter, and similar tufts of hair grow upon the surface of his paws. To any lady desirous of an “original” pet the Afghan hound would be as desirable as Mrs. Langtry’s Chinese boy"
About Jamrach (source Wikipedia) mentioned in this article - Charles Jamrach (born Johann Christian Carl Jamrach; March 1815 – 6 September 1891) was a leading dealer in wildlife, birds and shells in 19th-century London. He owned an exotic pet store on the Ratcliffe Highway in east London — at the time the largest such shop in the world. Jamrach's nearest rival was Edward Cross, who ran a menagerie at Exeter Exchange on the Strand. Jamrach was born in Germany (either in Hamburg or Memel). His father, Johann Gottlieb Jamrach, was chief of the Hamburg river police (the Wasserschutzpolizei), whose contacts with sailors enabled him to build up a trade as a dealer in birds and wild animals, establishing branches in Antwerp and London.
Back to Afghan hounds - There are few words in the article describing the Afghan hound -
-head and build of a greyhound
-ears long hairy and silky
-tufts of hair grow upon the surface of the paws
Typically dogs described as Afghan hounds by early 19th century writers were nothing of the sort. Mainly because the writer had no first hand experience of the breed and merely wrote up what a description given to the writer. This brief writing has the merit of not having been written by a specialist canine writer who has an interest in showing off their knowledge of exotic Asian breeds, but by a general reporter who visited Jamrach's and actually saw a dog, which he described as an Afghan hound. Based on the very short description, it seems reasonably likely that this specimen could have been an Afghan hound, but without any visual evidence, or further information we will never know. I thought it deserving of inclusion as it is apparently one of the earliest (possibly credible) writings on the breed. Plus it leads to a fun topic of Lily Langtry. The Jamrach article also conveys how the British were interested in pratcially anything foreign or exotic and retail outlets like Jamrach existed to satisfy this curiosity.
2 LILY LANGTRY (Wikipedia)
Lillie Langtry (October 13, 1853 – February 12, 1929), usually spelled Lily Langtry when she was in the U.S., born Emilie Charlotte Le Breton, achieved overnight celebrity status when, in May 1877, Lady Sebright invited her to "an evening at home", attended by some of the famous artists of the day. Her looks—allied to her ability to enchant those in her company—attracted interest, comments, and invitations from artists and society hostesses. By 1881, she was an actress and would star in many plays, including She Stoops to Conquer, The Lady of Lyons, and As You Like It, eventually running her own stage production company. In later life she performed "dramatic sketches" in vaudeville. She was also known for her relationships with nobility, including the Prince of Wales, the Earl of Shrewsbury and Prince Louis of Battenberg. She would become the subject of much public and media interest.
On 6 March 1874, 20-year-old Lillie married 30-year-old Irish landowner Edward Langtry, a widower who had been married to Jane Francis. She was the sister of Elizabeth Francis, who had married Lillie's brother William. They held their wedding reception at The Royal Yacht Hotel, in St. Helier, Jersey. He was wealthy enough to own a yacht, and Lillie insisted that he take her away from the Channel Islands. Eventually, they rented an apartment in Eaton Place, Belgravia, London before moving to 17 Norfolk Street off Park Lane.
In an interview published in several newspapers (including the Brisbane Herald) in 1882, Lillie Langtry said,
“It was through Lord Ranleigh and the painter Frank Miles that I was first introduced to London society… I went to London and was brought out by my friends. Among the most enthusiastic of these was Mr Frank Miles, the artist. I learned afterwards that he saw me one evening at the theatre, and tried in vain to discover who I was. He went to his clubs and among his artist friends declaring he had seen a beauty, and he described me to everybody he knew, until one day one of his friends met me and he was duly introduced. Then Mr Miles came and begged me to sit for my portrait. I consented, and when the portrait was finished he sold it to Prince Leopold. From that time I was invited everywhere and made a great deal of by many members of the royal family and nobility. After Frank Miles I sat for portraits to Millais and Burne-Jones and now Frith is putting my face in one of his great pictures."
Lord Ranelagh, a friend of her father and sister-in-law, invited Lillie Langtry to a high-society reception at which she attracted notice for her beauty and wit. In contrast to more elaborate clothing, she wore a simple black dress (which was to become her trademark) and no jewellery. Before the end of the evening, Frank Miles had completed several sketches of her that became very popular on postcards. Another guest, Sir John Everett Millais, eventually painted her portrait. Langtry's nickname, the "Jersey Lily," was taken from the Jersey lily flower (Amaryllis belladonna) – a symbol of Jersey.
And here's a New York Times Article also from July 1844 describing the excitment at New Jersey Harbor as Lily Langtry arrived to depart for England
12/15/11 Article "Mysterious Bell-Murray/Cove photo" Steve Tillotson December 2011
The Dog Of The Mystic East - Author Miss Jean C. Manson (Cove Afghan Hounds)
Published in American Kennel Gazette, June 1, 1929
Early Afghan Hounds
Hyland Afghan Painting
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