Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bonzo the Dog - George Studdy

It's the same old time will you be my Valentine?

6 1/2" x 7 1/8"
circa 1920s, 1930s

marked: Printed in Germany
Mechanical Flat

I've got you for My Valentine

3 1/8" x 5 1/4"
circa 1920s

made in Germany
Cat holding a small dog that looks like George E. Studdy's Bonzo character
Flat with easel stand on the back

Bonzo the dog was created by George Studdy in 1922. The character was very popular and was featured in a wide variety of merchandise from candy tins and chocolate molds, to stuffed toys, pins, perfume bottles and paper goods. He was one of the earliest cartoon characters, sometimes appearing with a cat named Ooloo. A headphone-wearing version of him known as the Crosley Pup became the face of an affordable AM radio created by Powell Crosley Jr in 1925.

There are an enormous amount of postcards to collect, with an unknown amount of die-cut valentines too. For the truly obsessed there is even a possible soundtrack for your Bonzo-hunting in 1960's The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band.

Stecher of Rochester, New York

Oh, that this song of mine may reach your heart dear Valentine.

7" x 3 1/2"
circa 1920s 
  Mechanical Flat
   marked with Stecher logo and  '14' 

Stecher Lithographic Company is most famous for its beautiful fruit crate labels and "nurserymen's plates." The latter were exhibited at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago.  

They began as Charles F. Muntz and Co in 1871, then became Mensing, Rahn and Stetcher around 1874/1875. They changed again to become Mensing and Stecher around 1878 and finally incorporated as Stecher Lithographic Company in January 1887.  

Originally from Germany, Frank A. Stecher became a rounding success in the chromolithographic printing business. He worked with a number of well respected artists and found more designers through contests. One such was advertised in Arts and Decoration, Vol 4 of November 1913. Prizes ranging from $25.00 to $100.00 were offered for "the best original designs suitable for postcards for either Christmas, New Year or Easter designs." 

The company still exists as Stecher-Traung-Schmidt. Its ties to Rochester were ended in 1980 when the plant there was closed. They now have offices in California.

Artists known to have worked for Stecher:


Arts and Decoration, Vol 4, Nov. 1913, p 130
The National Nurseyman Vol 1 No 1, Feb. 1893, p 49
The American Stationer, Vol 79, Jan. 29, 1916, p16
The Industries of the City of Rochester, Elstner Publishing Co., 1888. p 148
Coffee and Tea Industries and the Flavor Field, Vol 38, Jan., 1915