I’m not sure I even remember how it all started. When we were furnishing our first house, we often went to antique shows and flea markets. My husband, being a dog lover, discovered a cast iron dog door stop at one of these shows many years ago. It was cute…a Boston terrier, which was one of the more common door stops and therefore not too expensive. We didn’t know much about them or that people actually collect vintage door stops and pay quite a hefty sum for the rare ones. After talking to collectors and dealers, and reading up on the history of them, we were hooked!
There were two main manufacturers of the cast iron door stops. One was Hubley and the other Bradley and Hubbard. Most of ours are Hubleys. Hubley Manufacturing Company was founded in 1894 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It originally made cast iron toys and later produced hand-painted cast iron doorstops. They were made into baskets, animals, and figures. The dogs were quite popular. Today the more common Boston terrier can still be found and range in price from $100.oo – $300.00 depending on its condition. The hard to find dogs in excellent shape can cost over $1000!
Back when we started they were pricey but not like they are today. There are many copies and fakes on the market so it really is best to buy from a reputable dealer, although we have in the past found a few on eBay.
We rarely go to antique shows anymore, mainly because we don’t have room for any more stuff and it is next to impossible to find a dog we don’t have. At last count we have 70 dogs of all different shapes, sizes, and breeds. For now they are displayed on shelves in my husband’s office. It’s a room that I want to redo at some point but for now it never fails to make friends smile when they walk in and see that menagerie of dogs. One of these days we might add a real dog to our home…just one!