I blame my grandparents. As a baby, I grew up alongside their silver-haired miniature poodle named Daisy. I used to be obsessed along with her. She was humorous, sneezed on command, and liked to sleep beneath the covers by my toes once I came over. Through the years, my twin uncles additionally went by means of quite a lot of poodles—each miniature and customary. When certainly one of mentioned uncles handed away, my mother and father inherited his black poodle, Penny. Now, I personal a silver poodle rescue named Lucy, who makes me giggle day by day. It’s a full-circle second.
OODLES OF POODLES
After I started amassing classic within the early aughts, it’s solely logical I’d be drawn to mid-century poodle décor. Within the Nineteen Fifties and into the early Sixties, poodle mania gripped this nation with a fervor by no means earlier than seen within the canine décor realm. And nothing was extra ubiquitous than pink-colored poodles. Probably as a result of First Girl Mamie Eisenhower’s favorite color was pink—it was a pure leap to dye one’s poodle pink, proper?
As loopy because it appears at present, homeowners proudly dyed their poodles varied shades of the girly coloration—the proper complement to equally coloured vogue, kitchens, bathrooms, or Cadillacs of the day. In New York Metropolis, pink poodles have been even rented out to women hoping to make grand impressions strolling or driving down the avenue. According to Elaine Butler, creator of Poodle Collectibles of the 50s and 60s, poodles of any coloration and Parisienne themes normally resonated with housewives as they welcomed dwelling servicemen from France at conflict’s finish. Regardless of the impetus, poodles dominated the last decade like no different pooch prior. Certain, Scotties like FDR’s Fala reigned in the 1930s and cockers and dachshunds likewise within the Forties, however might they stroll on their hind legs round a circus ring?
BEST IN SHOW
To overstate how invasive the fluffy-haired breed was in all areas of American life could be unattainable. They have been actually in every single place! The “poodle minimize” was a scorching coiffure sported by the likes of Lucille Ball and First Girl Mamie Eisenhower herself. Poodle-appliqued skirts—all the fashion with teenage ladies—moved past easy vogue to represent the period. Film stars like Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, and Grace Kelly all owned and posed for publicity shots with their finely manicured poodles.
Nowhere was the poodle aesthetic extra dominant than in-home décor. Poodle photos adorned every thing from waste baskets and bathe curtains to tablecloths and wallpaper. Different poodle merchandise included toys, TV lamps, jewellery, towels, bookends, greeting playing cards, stuffed animals, hampers, aprons, cosmetics, stitching packing containers, planters, trinket dishes, enjoying playing cards, clocks, lunch packing containers, and even ashtrays. Spaghetti collectible figurines—that includes noodle-like strings of ceramic on the pinnacle, tail, and ankles of every canine—adorned many a mantle and shelf.
IN THE PINK
These identical mid-century items that command high greenback at present, as youthful generations—from Gen X to Gen Z and everybody in between—uncover the great thing about classic poodle items. If the poodle is white, silver, brown, or apricot—nice. If it’s pink, it provides extra worth and thus prices extra. After I started amassing poodle décor, I didn’t care what coloration they have been. I leaned towards white poodles initially earlier than I caught the “pink” bug. There’s simply one thing enjoyable and kooky about pink canine, proper?
Considered one of my favourite artwork topics is poodles of any coloration, however ideally pink. I’ve bought poodle wall pockets, chalkware twin plaques—often a male and a feminine—and poster prints. Considered one of my favourite issues to do is body poodle wallpaper, in addition to different ephemera like paper visitor towels, cocktail napkins, greeting playing cards, matchbooks, and wrapping paper. Past artwork, a prized possession of mine is a poodle-covered hamper that depicts the dapper canine smoking!
Stuffed animals are a favorites of many poodle collectors. Whether or not an inexpensive carnival prize or a Steiff, classic stuffed poodles, circa Nineteen Fifties–Nineteen Seventies, could be very costly. As ever, if pink (and huge)—plan on paying near $100. The smaller poodles—round six inches excessive—are often way more inexpensive. Different childhood favorites embrace squeeze, plastic-pull, and using toys. Even Barbie had a poodle!
The perfect place to find classic poodle merchandise is unquestionably Etsy or eBay. I’ve purchased nearly all of my décor by means of these websites. I can’t let you know what number of “classic pink poodle” searches I’ve completed over the past decade. I’ve additionally had luck at property gross sales, however that’s typically hit and miss. Maintain an eye fixed out!
In case you’re considering of beginning a poodle assortment, the most cost effective and best items to search out are ceramic or chalkware figurines—they’re in every single place. I’ve even discovered some on the native Goodwill. As you ease into this obsession, pink poodle textiles are a enjoyable approach to enhance a rest room or kitchen. Fairly quickly, you’ll be shopping for brooches, ceramic planters, lamps, and wall plaques. You already know you’ve gone over to the darkish aspect, nonetheless, when—as an grownup—you begin shopping for outdated stuffed animals in varied situations. I’ve been there. I’ve 9—together with cleaning soap and bathroom paper covers your grandma in all probability knitted.
Decide a coloration and dive unashamedly into the mid-century poodle revolution. Viva la Pompons!
Jenna Girard has been a contract author and duplicate editor for over 25 years, with a give attention to function writing. A lifelong collector of antiques and collectibles, Jenna has amassed a exceptional assortment of leisure ephemera, classic materials, head vases, and mid-century artwork and residential décor. After 16 years of residing in Los Angeles and dealing within the leisure business, Jenna now resides in her dwelling state of Michigan, the place she continues to put in writing/copy edit for LA-based media retailers.
WorthPoint—Uncover. Worth. Protect.