Cast iron

Ca. 1850-1860

L. 5’5”

This design first appears in the 1850s coming out of  Hayward Barlett and Company of Baltimore. After its original appearance, variations of this dog were made or copied by many companies [1].  This identical statue is in the 1858 Robert Wood & Company catalogue as no. G. This evidence points to Robert Wood and Company as making the Belmont dog and it being purchased before the Civil War.  A review of the 1870 catalogue reveals a slight change to the design of the dog’s tail [2]. In the 1870 catalog, “G” page 297, this statue is shown in two sizes 3’9” and 5’5” [3]. 


Dogs were the most popular domestic pets in the Victorian era and the Newfoundland was the most beloved.  The British artist Sir. Edwin Landseer is best known for his romanticized images of Newfoundlands in paintings and prints.  Most often, the dog is portrayed in service to humankind as a sign of its noble character.



[1] Israel, Barbara. Antique Garden Ornament:  Two Centuries of American Taste. (New York:  Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1999), 51.

[2] Letter from Ann Chandler Howell, Belmont Mansion Archives. April 19, 2004.

[3] Wood, Robert Wood & Co. Portfolio of original designs of ornamental iron work

by Robert Wood & Co. (Philadelphia, Pa.) ca. 1867-70, Winterthur Museum Library internet archive


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Belmont Blvd & Acklen Avenue 

Nashville, TN 37212


1900 Belmont Blvd

Nashville, TN 37212


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The architecture of Belmont Mansion makes it one of the most significant homes of 19th century Tennessee.

Sold by the Acklen family in 1887, the house went to a developer who began one of Nashville’s early suburbs.

It was then purchased by two women who in 1890 started a college which evolved into Belmont University. Today the Belmont Mansion Association, which was formed in 1972, owns the collection, runs the museum, and shares this unique story of 19th century Nashville with visitors from far and near.

Photos by Ed Houk