Hamshere Gallery - Specialists in Canine & Sporting Antiques


Labrador "Bolo" by Reuben Ward Binks (1880-1950) SOLD

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Labrador "Bolo" by Reuben Ward Binks (1880-1950) SOLD

Labrador "Bolo" by Reuben Ward Binks (1880-1950)

Oil on Ivory. The plaque which is 10 x 12 inches, contains three miniatures of Bolo by the artist Rueben Ward Binks, are all painted on ivory, and set within a blue velvet background. The plaque is bordered in a silver gilt frame, which bears the London assay stamps for 1922, and retailers mark "G & S Co. Ltd.", being Goldsmith and Silversmiths", the famous Regent Street jewellers, now Garrards

At the top a silver gilt title plate reads:

"Presented to
Mrs Quintin Dick
By Some Members
Of The Labrador Retriever Club

The first painting of Bolo, unsigned by the artist, was reproduced by Countess Howe in the beginning her book The Popular Labrador. Set in a silver gilt frame, bears the London assay stamp, and retailers mark "G & S Co. Ltd.", it's approximate size is 4 ? x 3? inches.

The two lower miniatures of Bolo are titled by the artist, "Field Trail & Show Ch Banchory Bolo", they are signed R Ward Binks 1922". Set in a silver gilt each frame bears the London assay mark, and retailers mark "G & S Co. Ltd.", and their approximate sizes are 3 ? x 2 ? inches.

The left hand miniature has a fine crack running through it.

Set in a silver gilt plate at the bottom is the inscription:

"Field Trail & Show Bench
Banchory Bolo"

Dual Champion Banchory Bolo

(29th December 1915 - 10th July 1927)

There is no more famous and remarkable Labrador than Dual Champion " Banchory Bolo ".

He was acquired by Lorna, Countess Howe, in February 1918, after he had been through several owners, all of whom experienced enormous difficulty in training him. In fact she states she acquired Bolo on "the proviso that if I could not make anything of him I was to have him destroyed". Bolo was a most difficult dog, headstrong and intractable. He began to respond to training when In 1919 he impaled himself on the spikes of an iron gate, badly injuring himself. Countess Howe nursed him back to health, by 1920, he qualified as Field Trial Champion, and in
1922 he became show bench champion.

The story of Bolo's life with Countess Howe, her most faithful companion is simply remarkable. A wonderful account of Bolo is given by Countess Howe in her book "The Popular Labrador Retriever".

Reading this account it is a great testament to Countess Howe herself, her dedication to the breed, and determination to succeed with Bolo, to earn the title of 'Dual Champion'. A feat she was to achieve with 3 other 'Banchory' gun dogs.

Bolo's importance is well documented.

The Labrador Retriever Club Stud Book, for 1949, wrote "Bolo's comings may be said to have breathed a spirit of new life into the breed, the prestige enjoyed by this dog as a competitive and stud force allowing lasting impetus to Labrador fortunes. His name runs like a golden thread through the vital streams of progress".

Then Arthur Croxton Smith in 'Sporting Dogs' wrote "This is the story of Dual Ch. Banchory Bolo, probably one of the greatest Labradors that we have ever had,"

Another account of Bolo is eulogised in Rowland John's "Dogs You'd Like to Meet", in which a chapter is devoted to him.

In Brian Vessy Fitzgerald's "The Book of the Dog", he writes, "Most breeds have had difficulties to contend with in preserving type but there is no doubt that so far as Labradors are concerned, the dog most responsible for getting round the dangerous corners and on to the high road of success was Banchory Bolo, who, most fortunately for the breed, came into the possession of Lorna Countess Howe at a most fortunate time."

He reproduces part of a letter from Countess Howe, "You ask for the names of those which I think my best dogs. Well Bolo was a long way first".

More recently "Treasures of the Kennel Club", gives an account, that so dear to Countess Howe was Bolo, that, "it was ten years before she could bring herself to have another personal dog."

Today the Labrador Retriever Club has immortalised Bolo, by depicting him on the Club Field Trial Award Card.

Another lasting testimony is for Labrador owners whose dogs have the white markings behind the pads of the feet. They are proud to know that their dog has 'Bolo Pads', and is an ancestor of this immortal animal.


Medium Group: Paintings

Year: 1923


Breed: Retriever (Labrador)

Artist: Binks, Reuben Ward






Dimensions: None


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