"Invaluable Dogs"


United Kingdom

DC Member since 2016
Item enquiry Delivery quote Similar item? Stock request

  • Description
  • Location
  • About dealer

"Invaluable Dogs"

A remarkable pair of miniature dogs, along side a arrangement of birds, butterflies and paper flowers

The dogs come with a collection of photographs, hand written notes, x-rays, newspaper articles & ephemera

Original photographs, later framed, 38/26cm, 38/33, 30/29, 30/29. Two of the frames are double mounted with one back side showing the hand written notes the other double mounted frame shows the x-rays of both dogs one on each side

There are also new paper cutting that we believe Mrs Rees has collected referring to small dogs, also a letter from the BBC confirming Mrs Rees interview on Welsh Radio and a single small photograph

The hand written notes read as follows,

"Case containing two miniature "dogs" one adulterated house sparrow (has canary feather added to its plumage) and one redstart (at Right)
The miniature dogs were said by their owner to be "Roman Dog" and the last of their race, she thought they once lived in Rome.
The Horniman museum has three similar dogs and their names are called "Black and Tan dogs"

Signed S.P.Dance 19/viii 1971

Brought to Nat Muse wales for information concerning their possible commercial value by the proprietor of the black lion Hotel"

There is also a welsh newspaper article dated 1975 with the headline "Invaluable Dog"
the article is in welsh and translate thus

Look at the pretty puppy in the picture above. Nothing special you said well, this puppy is much more valuable than any live dogs worth its salt today at the moment it is invaluable. Look again at its size, our photographer has placed a box of matches beside him so you can get some idea of small it is. This is one a pair of them are to be found, and the property of Mrs Rees, the Black Lion Pub, Pontrhydfendigaid, but now moved to Bedways

Some years ago, Mrs Rees brought the dog parcel from Mr Lanto John Davies, Pontrhydfendigaid. His parents had bought them at a auction in Aberystwyth many years previously for the large amount of fifteen shillings at the time (75p 1975), around 5 times that amount today.
A time passed, it took more than one interest in these special dogs, and soon it was realised that they were not only an ordinary indulgence to decorate a top shelf.

After expects had got their hands on the it was discovered that they were tracing back to the Roman Period, and that they had been transported to Britain during their reign in this country. They are currently invaluable and according to Mrs Rees's own words "they are more valuable than come oil paintings, and only the richest people could afford to buy them, if someone could price them, Cardiff Museum cannot afford them!" Mrs Rees says there are only three examples in the world. There is one pair at the museum of London, another with a family in England and the third by her. According to the experts, the Romans worshipped these dogs, and kept them on the tables. Mrs Rees has kindly said that if she were to sell her two treasures, she would give at least half the money to a good cause, and remember the person who sold it to her without knowing that they were so valuable Mr Lanto, John Davies. But at this time, the fortune remains at Mrs Rees home, and that has been since the turn of the year at Bryngwyn, Bedwa, Gwent

In the Victorian era, many of the dog breeds that we know today were developed or refined through selective breeding.
The largest, the smallest and dogs with unusual attributes were of considerable interest.

Bizarre monstrosities were sometimes produced and extreme forms were often dead at birth or died soon after birth.
Many of these animals were preserved by taxidermists. Tiny dogs were popular as taxidermy mounts but demand outstripped supply so they were often faked.

Puppies, and even foetuses, were made to look like tiny adult dogs.
After removing the body, bones and all, a skilful taxidermist could cut and stretch the skin over a carefully modelled manikin to make what looks like a tiny adult dog, for all to marvel at.

A wonderful collection of items relating to a lady who obsessed to find the truth behind these curios little creatures. The case measures 40cm/35.5cm/10cm in depth

circa 1880


19th Century

Contact Us



Mobile: +44 (0)797 2775824


By Appointment Only
NR31, UK
United Kingdom


My partner and I have been collecting unique, decorative antiques for the past 10 years, travelling far and wide sourcing the best our pockets could afford.

TSFS was created as a platform for us to share our passion for out of the ordinary objects and functional furniture.

Our collections are filled with items that show their age and hold beauty in their deterioration, assisting the creation of your own inspired interior.

In addition to selling, select pieces are also available for hire for photo shoots, filming or events. Please contact us with any requests.

To enquire about viewing an item please get in contact.

SOCIAL MEDIA:  Instagram, FacebookTwitter

We use cookies to help make this website better. Find out more about cookies.