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Monday 19th July 2004

A Bronzed Cast-Iron St Bernard Nutcracker

......and there are two more photos below

A note from Sharon

This dog was given to me by my Mother years ago
I think I wanted it and she said I could have it

It originally belonged to my Grandmother Matheson

It hasn't had much of a life!
It has sat around for years and years
- being moved from carport to laundry to wardrobe bottoms to backs of shelves
Basically, forgotten and neglected!

It did have one incident of "proper use"!
Our neighbour had a bag of walnuts
which he was trying to crack by belting them with a hammer
The "dog" helped him out!

One day we decided to get it restored, and took it to a local place
to see if they could clean it up because it was very rusty
The guy did a nice job and it came up looking great as these photos show

We wanted to find out if there is "a bit of history" about it,
especially as there is a patent registration cast in the handle/tail
So I took it to Kevin Shorey here in Cairns who specialises in antique jewllery
and collectables to ask him where I could find out about it

He said it may have been originally bronzed but this finish had worn off
And he had a book - and there was a picture in it of the dog!!

It is listed as a bronzed cast iron St Bernard, 5 inches x 12 inches,
and it was made around 1900 (circa)

It is worth $130.00 - $150.00
as deemed by the Antiques and Collectables Centre in Victoria


Patent Number - 15750/26


The Patent Number

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European Patent Office


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Europe's Network of Patent Databases

Patent databases cover all areas of technology and contain
inventions stretching from 19th century to today
They are source of inspiration for innovators, scientists
and engineers the world over
They also contain a lot of valuable legal information
such as whether a patent is in force or not, and where
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Its simple interface is available in most European
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It contains over 60 million patent documents
from all over the world


By clicking on the link below,
the following data is displayed for the Patent Number

Bibliographic data
Original document
INPADOC legal status

Publication date - 7th July 1927
Name - "Improvement in and relating to nut crackers"

NOTE - it is "funny and interesting" to see our dog included in this patent application,
with all the detailed drawings applicable to it's application, etc!!!


Here are similar items listed on the----Auctions

......for a price comparison!!!


Auction #01

Antique Cast Iron Dog Nutcracker
Patent No 273480

This is a very heavy piece of antique cast iron - a dog shaped nutcracker
To operate, you lift its tail, insert the nut in its mouth, and then press!
The patent number is on the tail
Offered with age wear but in very good condition
This collectable item will be a talking point in your home!!
Item location - Surrey, United Kingdom
This auction ended on Sunday 20th August 2006
The starting price was set at GBP4.99 (AUD$12.40) and there were three bids during the auction
The final selling price was GBP7.02 = AUD$17.38

Here is an email I sent to the Seller on Saturday 19th August 2006
Hi, and I like your dog - because we have one exactly the same!!
With one exception, and that is the patent number
On the tail ours says 15750/26 - what the difference is, well, I do not know!

I'll introduce myself now - my name is Geoff, and my Wife and I live in Cairns Australia
We sometimes browse through Ebay, and were very surprised to see your auction
As we already have one, we will not be placing a bid,
but we have been trying for years to find out a bit of info on this dog
I hope you don't mind us writing to you
Sharon has had this item for years
It was given to her by her Grandmother
The only thing she knows about it is that it was probably made in the early 1900's
Do you have any info on the 'who-what-why-how-etc' on the dog?
We find it very interesting that there is a patent number, but no maker's mark
- and we have studied every square inch of it!
Thanks for your time, and look forward to hearing from you
Have a nice day over there
Regards, Geoff

Reply from the Seller
Hi Geoff
I really wish I could give you more info but I can't!!
Indeed they were made in the early 1900's - with no maker's marks
In the Miller's Antique Guide, it has been priced at GBP80.00 (AUD$198.50)
Should I find out anything further I'll let you know
I bought mine from a secondhand shop at GBP15.00 (AUD$37.20)
So I hope I at least make my money back!!
Have a nice day both of you
Regards, Grace

Another note back to the Seller
Hi Grace
We really appreciate your reply and the note about the Millers Guide
Hey, wouldn't it be nice if all the manufacturers marked every piece they ever made
with clear and easy to understand marks and dates, etc!!
Still, it gives us something to do!!! - chasing around the internet trying to find out
the meaning of marks on some of our collectable china, glass and metal!!
Wish you Good Luck with the auction,
and at this moment there is still about fifteen hours to go
Somebody will buy it for a thousand dollars!!
Nice talking to you
Regards, Geoff


Auction #02

Cast Iron Saint Bernard Dog Nutcracker
Spring cleaning time from the 'collector of just about everything' is finally here!!
Today I am offering for auction this cast iron Saint Bernard dog nutcracker
I am unsure of the maker or the age of this item
The condition is very good

Item location - Dubuque, Iowa United States
This auction was listed under the "Buy-it-Now" system
The price was set at USD$19.99
This item did not sell


Auction #03

Cast Iron Newfoundland St Bernard Dog Nutcracker
For your consideration, we are offering you a wonderful working cast iron nutcracker
It is in the likeness of a large dog, perhaps a Newfoundland or St. Bernard - you be the judge
It is black with hints of gold spray throughout
Lift the tail, put the nut in his mouth, and push down on his tail to crack the nut
Nice condition with no damage
Measures about 12.5" long and 5" high
New - not vintage

Item location - Tipton, MI United States
This auction ended on Thursday 7th September 2006
The starting price was set at USD$9.89 and there were two bids during the auction
The final selling price was USD$12.50 = AUD$16.70


Auction #04

Vintage Old Brass Lever Action Dog Nutcracker
A great piece!!
Fall is here - fireplaces, nuts, and a great old brass dog nutcracker
Put a nut in his mouth and press the lever down
Everything is working fine and brass is in great shape with some patina
The dog is 10" long mouth to tail and 5.5" tall
This nutcracker is old and beautiful

Item location - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania United States
This auction ended on Saturday 9th September 2006
The starting price was set at USD$24.75
There were no bids
The seller relisted the item and this auction ends on Saturday 16th September 2006
The starting price was lowered to USD$9.98 and there was one bid
The final selling price was USD$9.98 = AUD$13.30


Auction #05

Nutcracker Cast Iron Dog
Vintage antique
Wrought iron
Three pieces
Excellent condition
It measures 11" long x 6" high x 3" deep
“The most common metals used to make nutcrackers are steel and cast iron
Steel is an alloy of iron and a small amount of carbon
Cast iron is an alloy of iron and a somewhat larger amount of iron”

Item location - Apple Valley, MN United States
This auction ended on Saturday 9th September 2006
The starting price was set at USD$6.99 and there was one bid during the auction
The final selling price was USD$6.99 = AUD$9.35


Auction #06

Antique Cast Iron Dog Nutcracker
This is a great find at a barn sale this past weekend here in Maine
This dog nutcracker is most definitely not a reproduction!!
It is an original antique cast iron piece
It is in very, very nice condition and works well
Just a terrific collectible and addition to your collection!!

Item location - Conway, New Hampshire United States
This auction ended on Monday 11th September 2006
The starting price was set at USD$15.99
There were no bids


Auction #07

Vintage Cast Iron St Bernard Dog Nutcracker Door Stop
This dog is heavy!!
I believe it is made of cast iron and I think it looks like a St. Bernard
It is a very old piece
It was made to be a nut cracker
You lift the tail, mouth opens, insert nut, and pull down on the tail
- voila, nuts are cracked and ready to enjoy!!
It would also make a really great door stop, for even the heaviest door!!
It weighs 9 pounds
The base is 7.75" x 3.75"
The dog is 11.5" wide from nose to tail, and the height is 5.5"
It has been painted silver, and it looks to me to be the original paint
The grandkids could sure have a fun time with this one during the holiday
Keep them busy for quite a while cracking all those nuts for Gramma's guests!!

Item location - Wisconsin, United States
This auction ended on Monday 11th September 2006
The starting price was set at USD$9.50 and there were five bids during the auction
The final selling price was USD$36.00 = AUD$48.05


Auction #08

Dog Newfoundland Cast Iron Nutcracker
New and there are four available
New cast iron dog nutcracker
It measures 12" long by 5" by 2" wide
Black cast iron nutcracker is frosted with gold paint
Working nutcracker is solid cast iron and ready to do the job!!
Need a special gift for the veterinarian, dog trainer or pet sitter on your list?
Looks great just sitting on the kitchen counter or on the shelf at the office

Item location - Kutztown, Pennsylvania United States
This auction was listed under the "Buy-it-Now" system
The price was set at USD$9.95
This item did not sell


Auction #09

Old Brass Nutcracker Dog
Bull Mastiff - St Bernard
There is a lot of patina on this piece, but little areas of brass can be seen
It stands 5" tall x 11" long
It is very heavy weighing 5.5lbs
There is a big old screw that holds the body together
The tail moves up and down so the mouth opens and closes to crack nuts!
Item location - Hamilton, Ontario Canada
This auction was listed under the "Buy-it-Now" system
The price was set at USD$50.00
Sold for a "Best Offer" price of USD$40.00 = AUD$51.15


Auction #10

NOTE - this is the first one I have seen where the item has a base and also the bowl

Old Saint Bernard Cast Iron Nut Cracker
Complete with base and bowl
This item is not often found complete
It is in great vintage condition
However, there is wear to the surface of the painted tin bowl
and some wear to black surface of base
The dog's tail is marked 'Made in England'
It measures approx 30cm from tip of tail to edge of bowl
Item location - Banora Point, New South Wales Australia
This auction was listed under the "Buy-it-Now" system
The price was set at $50.00
The final selling price was $50.00