Early Illustrations of Le Cimetière des Chiens

A Postcard History of Le Cimetière des Chiens

Tuesday 31 May 2011

Toutoune's Memorial

This is very striking. Note the ribbon on the top knot. I translate the first line of the inscription as My Darling Fatty! Am I correct?

Tuesday 24 May 2011

The Grave of Ines II

Here is a hand-tinted postcard of the memorial to Ines II who didn't reach his first birthday. I presume the bust at the top of the memorial is lifelike. Alfie, whose details are listed on the side of the stone was born on 12 December 1900 and died 11 December 1905 - a day short of his fifth birthday.

Sunday 22 May 2011

Weeping Willow

Weeping willow symbolism on the memorials to Caro, Tommy and Teddy - beautifully made.

Monday 9 May 2011

Early Days

This impressive memorial marks the grave of Mireille who died on 23 January 1900. It is a very early souvenir postcard of the cemetery. The background looks like a construction site.

Sunday 8 May 2011

A Short Film of the Cemetery of Dogs

I thought I would share with you a remarkable short film of the Cemetery of Dogs by Barbara Gordon. It is fascinating.

Friday 6 May 2011

Multi-view Souvenir

Of course, if you have a series of twelve postcards on sale at the cemetery, why not create a thirteenth. All you have to do is reproduce your collection on one card. There are certainly some very interesting memorials here. Click once on the image, and then again for a really close up view.

Wednesday 4 May 2011

A Gun Dog remains Alert

Two differing views of what I take to be a hunting or gun dog. Sadly, no name is visible. but in the later photograph, the ivy has started to grow over the base of the memorial. You can plainly see the owners rifle resting against the bough upon which hangs a satchel with fringed edging at its base. Perhaps it contains the cartridges? Between the straps is what appears to be a powder flask. A very ornate example of grave art.

Monday 2 May 2011

Dog Kennel Memorials

Dog kennel memorials were popular during the early years of the Cemetery. Here, a double kennel contains the remains of Black and Yet-Yet. The latter died in January 1900.

Two Statues mark the Avenue entrance

Despite this view of the interior of the Cemetery having a letter on the back dated May 1917, I suspect it was published much earlier in the cemetery's history. I wonder if the sender was a wounded soldier? I also wish I had paid more attention to French at school! Note the lady viewing the graves. No leaves on the trees so I guess it was taken late Autumn or Winter time. It would be interesting to know if they are still there?

Sunday 1 May 2011

Graves on all Sides

This general view of the main avenue looks back towards the entrance gates. It has been hand-tinted by the publisher. Like others in the collection, the original purchaser has posted the card to herself, hence the postage stamp on the front of the card. It was posted on 16 August 1908.

Unloading the Body of a Faithful Friend

The Cemetery of Dogs came about because of a law passed by the Paris authorities in 1898. Pet owners were required to bury their pets rather than dump them with the rubbish or in the River Seine.  French attorney Georges Harmois and journalist Marguerite Durand came up with the idea of creating a cemetery for dogs and other domestic pets at Asnières-sur-Seine. The cemetery opened in the summer of 1899 and it is said that since then,  tens of thousands of animals have been buried in Le Cimetière des Chiens. These include not only dogs but cats, a lion, a monkey and a racehorse!

As you look through the cemetery gates, you can see a large memorial to Barry, a mountain rescue dog. Beyond is a place of remembrance for our faithful companions. This first photograph shows two attendants with a funeral bier. One is withdrawing a small coffin ready for burial. The postcard is captioned - Unloading a body. It was posted to Madame Deronard at Rue Du Champ D'allouette No 9, Paris on 19 March 1904.

History of the Collection

Over the years, I have acquired a small number of postcards of Le Cimetière des Chiens - the Paris Dog Cemetery. I found them fascinating. You can imagine my delight when a recent chance purchase of another card led to my taking ownership of a significant archive of postcards and ephemera on the subject. A couple of times a week, I intend to post an early illustration of this remarkable Paris cemetery. I hope you enjoy seeing them?