Sculpture   

Dogs of Alcibiades - south

Dogs of Alcibiades Dogs of Alcibiades - south

Site: Dogs of Alcibiades (3 memorials)

E9, Victoria Park, Bonner Gate

Lady Regnart donated these statues in 1912 and her husband died in 1912 so, call us wreckless, but we are assuming that the donation was in memory of her husband Horatio, even though we can find no documented evidence. Alternatively, perhaps the dogs were Horatio's much loved possession but his wife hated them and took the earliest opportunity to get rid of them.

What's odd is that the Regnarts had strong connections with St Pancras (now Camden) and none, that we can discover, with Tower Hamlets.

Some sources say that the dogs were "donated by Lady Aignarth" but we can find no evidence that this lady ever existed so believe this to be a mistake.

Visiting Rome in the 1750s Henry Constantine Jennings (1831-19) acquired a 2nd century AD Roman sculpture of a dog. He brought it back to Britain where it became well-known and a number of replicas were made, in pairs for installation at stately homes: Basildon Park and Newby Hall; another pair were sold at auction in 2005. Due to the docked tail Jennings named it after a dog in Plutarch's life of Alcibiades. In the 1770s ownership of the original passed to Rt. Hon Charles Duncombe and it stood in the entrance hall at Duncombe Park Yorkshire even after 1925 when this house was rented out as a girls' school. In 2001 the statue was acquired by the British Museum.

Trying to track the provenance of the Victoria Park dogs we went in hunt of the copies known to be made prior to 1912. The Basildon Park ones are still there, that was easy. The Newby Hall pair were more difficult. With the help of the archivist there (many thanks, Kate Bankier) we learnt that the dogs are no longer at Newby Hall, if they were ever there at all. It's possible that there has been some confusion with nearby Newby Park (now Baldersby Park). Whichever, the dogs left Newby in 1845 and settled at Wrest Park, Bedfordshire. So we failed to discover the provenance of the Victoria Park dogs.

The Victoria Park dogs were restored in 1991 but by 2009 they were in such a bad state that the council removed them and in June 2010 erected these replicas in their place. Is it possible that these replicas are the pair auctioned in 2005? The Hackney Gazette quotes a council spokesperson: "“We’ll put them {the original pair} back in the park when a new community facility is built at the other end of the park, ready for the 2012 Olympics." That may have been the plan but we can find no information about the whereabouts of the originals now (2019).

In conclusion: we don't know where the original pair came from, nor where they are now. But we had fun finding out.

This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
Dogs of Alcibiades - south

Subjects commemorated Information

Sir Horatio Grece Regnart

Born Jersey. Aged 15 joined John Maples, Furniture dealer, and progressed to ...

Read More

This section lists the subjects who helped to create/erect the memorial on this page:
Dogs of Alcibiades - south

Created by Information

Lady Regnart

Wife of Sir Horatio Regnart. Lady Regnart was an active member of the Managin...

Read More

This section lists the other memorials at the same location as the memorial on this page:
Dogs of Alcibiades - south

Also at this site Information

Dogs of Alcibiades - plaque

{On the front of the southern plinth:} The Dogs of Alcibiades, presented to t...

Read More

Nearby Memorials

Tortoises with triangle and time

Tortoises with triangle and time

W8, Holland Park

The plaque can be seen in our photo, attached to the wall.

1 subject commemorated, 3 creators
Southwark Gateway Needle

Southwark Gateway Needle

SE1, London Bridge

The inclined needle is made of Portland stone, 16m high. It won a Natural Stone Craftsmanship Award 2000. We could find no plaque and th...

2 subjects commemorated, 1 creator
Anna Kendall

Anna Kendall

SW3, Robinson Street, Christ Church Primary School

{On the small plaque on the wall to the left:} For Anna Kendall, headteacher of Christ Church Primary School, 1992 - 2009. From grateful ...

2 subjects commemorated, 1 creator
New Zealand memorial

New Zealand memorial

W1, Hyde Park corner

16 bronze standards, each decorated with texts and motifs of New Zealand, such as a fern leaf, a manaia figure, a farmer, Anzac poppies, ...

3 subjects commemorated, 2 creators
Suffragettes sculpture scroll

Suffragettes sculpture scroll

SW1, Victoria Street, Christchurch Gardens

This is made of fibreglass finished in cold cast bronze, and the scroll form was apparently chosen because it forms an 'S'. Designed by R...

2 subjects commemorated, 3 creators