These Scottie Dogs are a pair of dress clips, they were popular during the 1930s. A way of jazzing up an outfit cheaply during the tough times of the Depression when buying a whole new outfit was not always an option. What is unusual about these dress clips is that they are made of glass. More commonly they are made of Bakelite or set with paste on pot metal often known as ‘duos’ in the trade. When I first saw these through the window of a small shop in Totnes I thought they were Bakelite as did the lady who owned the vintage shop. It was only on closer inspection that I realised their true composition. Scottie dogs lend themselves to the iconography of the 1930s because of their angularity and the monochrome colouring so favoured by art deco designers.
Scottie dogs have been pets of the famous over many years – Queen Victoria, Rudyard Kipling, Eva Braun and they have been regular canine residents at the White House – Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and George W. Bush. As a point of interest First Lady Mamie Eisenhower had costume jewellery made for her by Trifari’s chief designer in the 1950s, Alfred Philippe, who had trained at Cartier and Van Cleef.
A Scottie Dog is one of the featured pieces in the popular board game, Monopoly. In 1941, the British Secret Intelligence Service licensed John Waddington Ltd to create a special edition for World War II prisoners of war held by the Nazis. Hidden inside the games were maps, compasses, real money, and other objects useful for escaping.