TRIVETOLOGY

Collecting, cleaning, displaying, researching, and appreciating TRIVETS and related go-withs!

“Bonzo the dog” trivets

Bonzo the dog was a popular cartoon character created by British artist George Ernest Studdy in 1922. This postcard dates to the 1930s and was published by Valentine & Sons, London. Note how the early electric iron is wired into the light fixture; there’s also a trivet resting on the ironing board.

I know of at least two trivets celebrating the cartoon character Bonzo. Both are from the United Kingdom, circa 1920s-1930s. Neither is signed on the reverse; their manufacturer and/or foundry is unknown. I call Version #1 Bonzo with Ornamental Legs. Its three beveled legs screw into the bottom of the trivet platform. The cast iron has a slight golden hue; perhaps there was a gold wash at one time.

Version #1: Cast iron, 5 3/4″ diameter with three 3″ screw-in legs

There’s a second, slightly less common version I call Bonzo with Splayed Legs. In Version #2 the dog looks similar but the background squiggles differ slightly. The splayed legs are cast in one piece with the body. Its original black japanned finish is worn.

Version #2: Cast iron, 5 3/4” diameter with three 2” stationary legs

Bonzo remains popular today, almost a century since his creation. To learn all about George Studdy and his creation Bonzo, I’d recommend Richard Fitzpatrick’s comprehensive website George E. Studdy and Bonzo The Dog.

George Ernest Studdy, 1878-1948

Anonymous [Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons

☆ UPDATE: I received this email on 7/16/18 from Richard Fitzpatrick, whose blog George E. Studdy and Bonzo The Dog is mentioned above.

Thanks for your email on your Bonzo trivets. Though I’ve not had the time to add these particular items to my site, I naturally have several examples of both versions in my collection.

A couple of things I can pass on to you about them:

The general wisdom seems to be that the splayed leg version is slightly earlier than the screw-on leg version.  They came as a polished/blacken metal finish, but I’ve also seen ones painted silver, gold & matt black.  All of these were probably painted afterwards.

The image of Bonzo that was used to model the trivets on first appeared in The Sketch Christmas Number 1923.  Here’s a link to that print http://www.bonzo.me.uk/Pages23/51.html. You can also follow the link to the next image that formed the pair as they appeared in that magazine.

Thanks for your mention & link to my site for those who are interested in finding out more about the little dog.

Cheers,

Richard

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This entry was posted on July 15, 2018 by in Antique Trivets & Stands, Great Britain and tagged , , , , , .