31st August 2020
Interestingly, a photograph has appeared on my social media site of a painting by Norbertine Bresslesrn-Roth. She was an Austrian painter, printmaker and book illustrator. It says that along with her male colleagues, Carl Fahringer and Ludwig Heinrich Jungnikel, she was considered to be one of Austria’s best animal painters. This beautiful painting is of a group of Salukis with what appears to be an Afghan after a hunting scene. This painting is in the David Roche Collection at the famous TDRF Art Museum, North Adelaide, South Australia. Seeing photos of this painting, rang bells, I have seen something in similar style. I referred to Hope and David Water’s “The Saluki in History, Art and Sport” where there is an illustration of a wood cut featuring two Salukis; The caption says “Salukis in Austria about 1929” Hope and David go on to say” After the eighteenth century continental artists appear to have neglected the Saluki until in the late 1920s, the noted Austrian animal artist Norbertine V Bresslern-Roth was attracted by a pair of feathered Salukis belonging to the late Frau Wohlfahrt-Casati of Graz.” It is interesting as the Waters were probably not aware of the other painting. Ms Bresslern-Roth’s style is very distinctive and I regret that I am unable to illustrate either the painting or wood cut here but you can see the wood cut in Hope and David’s book.
In reference to David Roche, he was an all-breed championship show judge that had the honour of judging at Crufts in 1969. He had a great interest in dogs as a breeder and exhibitor of Afghans, Kerry Blue Terriers and Smooth Fox Terriers. He was a collector of all things canine which includes painting, ceramics and bronzes along with many other fine quality antiquities. They are housed in his most lavish house museum in North Adelaide. He established the David Roche Foundation to carry out his wish that his collection of more than 3000 magnificent pieces of decorative and fine art be made available to the public. (This is similar to the Wallace Collection in London).
After writing in these notes about the early beginnings of the Saluki Club when discussing Serona Kelb, I have decided to look at who else attended that historical meeting in 1923, launching the Saluki or Gazelle Hound Club. One couple of interest, attending that meeting, was Mr L Crouch who took the position as Hon Treasure along side of his wife, who was elected a Committee member. Prior to entering the world of Salukis, Mrs L Crouch was well known for her Standard Poodles. The photo I have found of one of her champion poodles was taken in 1907 so she was well versed in the showing scene. In Saluki Heritage, Issue 16 Spring 1989 there is an article on the Orchard Salukis with photographs showing that most of her hounds were parti coloured, while most other kennels at that time did not have stock of this colour pattern, it appears that this was the colour of choice of the Crouches. Like most of their peers Mrs Crouch went to the Middle East for stock. She imported Orchard Hoishan bred by Sheikh Abdulla Hamid of Bahrein during the years between the wars. His claim to fame was that he was unbeaten on the racing track. According to one of the interviews in the Saluki Heritage, which is mentioned above, Mrs Crouch usually kept about 25 dogs at one time in her kennels, in all she registered 16 litters under the Orchard prefix.
In Vera Watkins’ book “Saluki Companion of Kings”, Vera Breaks down the classification of imported Salukis into two group; pre war (up to 1939) and post war (1946 onwards).”
Vera goes on to say “Sheik Sir Hamad Ibn Isa al Khalidah K.C.I.E.C.S.I, owned a fine kennel of Salukis which were larger and more massive in type than the Salukis on the Mainland. Colonel Dickson suggested that these Salukis ‘had Persian Greyhound’ blood in them or were imported from the Persian side of the Gulf. He added that they did little or no hunting and were fat rather than muscular”.
June Burt wrote in The Saluki Volume 9 Spring 1977 referring to events happened in 1954
“The death was reported of Mrs Evelyn Crouch whose Orchard prefix was famous in Salukis before the war. She came into Salukis in 1922, purchasing a black and white bitch from Brigadier Lance’s Sarona kennels. This bitch registered as Orchard Shahin became the first Saluki champion in England and won altogether eleven CCs and many other prizes and trophies. The Orchard Salukis also made a name for themselves both coursing and on the track.
Unhappily the kennels closed with the outbreak of the war and did not re-opened”. Annually at The SGHC Open Show the Orchard Shahin Trophy is awarded annually for Best Bitch. It was presented by the late Mrs L Crouch.
k here to edit.
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