|Butch makes his debut on February 19, 1944, in this depiction of him caught in the act of eating the all-important ration book coupons. http://www.worthpoint.com/blog-entry/butch-steiffs-saturday-evening-post-magazine-mascot-real-supermodel|
Several weeks ago, I did a post about Butch, the iconic cocker spaniel painted by artist Albert Staehle. The winsome little black and white dog's image appeared on numerous covers of the Saturday Evening Post during the 1930s and 1940s. You can check out that blog post here:
I've become increasingly enamored of little Butch since learning more about him (or her, as the case may be--one individual who responded to the article said she had heard that Butch was, in reality, female, though I have found no evidence to corroborate this), and so I was especially excited a few weeks ago to stumble across a stack of Saturday Evening Post covers at an antique store in a nearby town, one of which featured Butch! The price wasn't marked so, in fear and trembling I inquired how much the seller wanted. "Three dollars," reported the shop owner, after conferring with the seller on the phone. It was all I could do to keep from doing a jig then and there, but I'm very good at holding it together when I'm making a proverbial vintage "steal".
This sweet cover (Butch has stumbled across an opened can of red paint) is now hanging beside the armchair in my favorite stow-away haven (formerly known as my oldest son's bedroom). I get fresh enjoyment every time I look at it:
Then, last weekend, I found another! This one is the entire magazine, and I gladly paid the $6 asking price for it. Covers alone that feature Butch sell on Etsy in prices ranging from $16 - $35, but I have no intention of parting with mine. Here's the newest one:
I love this! My little room is fast becoming full of wonderful dog-related art and vintage collectibles; the poms and I spend a lot of time there on wet, cold mornings. Not so much this time of year, when we can sit outdoors, but during the rainy months.
Meanwhile, I've learned something else about artist Albert Staehle. He was the creator of Smokey the Bear! I was staggered when I read that. I found an excellent site with more examples of Mr. Staehle's work as well as biographical information and then lost it again; perhaps my computer-savvy son will help me unearth the history of sites visited recently so I can post it here later. I did learn that a book exists, Albert Staehle and Cover Boy Butch; A Biography and Collector's Guide by author Sharon Giese Damkaer, but the prices for the book are astronomical--starting at $248 for a used copy! I'd sure love to read it, though.
I also found a site promoting a commemorative stamp for Albert Staehle; you can download the mailing form here: