Dandy Dogs of Parke-Bernet
The Author is currently reading a thoroughly amusing book, The Elegant Auctioneers by Wesley Towner. This 1970’s gem provides an exhaustive history of American auction houses in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, as well as their often eccentric and always astonishingly wealthy patrons.
The Author particularly enjoyed this snippet about high society dogs found at the auction houses:
“[Attending auctions were] Afghan hounds and well-coiffed poodles, which [their owners] frequently addressed in French. One fortunate canine habitué of the recent past, named Zita, had a platinum collar, set with a solitary emerald, which her master had insured for $3,000. Zita was a regular at Parke-Bernet exhibitions and had her own tiny calling cards, and once a year her master–a man, incidentally, who had risen from the ranks*–sent out engraved invitations to her birthday party.”
*The Elegant Auctioneers is chock-full of snobbish asides such as this.