Gustav Muss-Arnolt (American, 1858–1927)
10 HANDPAINTED PLATES DEPICTING FOX TERRIERS
Oil on ceramic plates, 11” diameter
Eight inscribed, five signed en verso
August Belmont Jr., 1886
William Brainard, MFH
American Fox Terriers depicted: Rachel, Tiaya, Fandango, Bacchanal, Blemton Verity, Marqurrito, New Forest Ethataer, Regent Vox, and two others.
These plates were commissioned by August Belmont Jr. and portray terriers from his famed Blemton Kennels. Each known dog appears in the stud book of the American Fox Terrier Club.
Belmont served as the fourth president of the American Kennel Club from 1888 through 1915. He also was president of the American Fox Terrier Club from 1886 until 1893. He formed his Blemton Kennels (Blemton being an anagram of Belmont) at his estate in Babylon, New York, and imported terriers from the United Kingdom and Europe. The most influential president of the club’s early years, he took an organization formed only in 1884 and led it into the 20th century. He formed the AKC Gazette, the official magazine of the AKC, published continuously since 1889. Belmont had put up his personal money against any of the magazine’s monetary losses, but the venture proved so successful that his money was not necessary.
Muss-Arnolt was one of the top sporting dog painters of the era, along with Percival Rosseau and Edmund Osthaus. Besides painting the animals, he was close to the dog show routine and the eld trial circuit and served on the board of the AKC from 1906 to 1909. Belmont employed Muss-Arnolt, who had 170 illustrations published in the Gazette through 1905.
These works were sold to William Brainard sometime before 1940. Brainard was a fox terrier breeder in northern New Jersey and later at Glen Oak Farm in Marshall, Virginia. Brainard also served as a AKC judge and judged Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
After Belmont’s death in 1924, his widow sold most of his estate to developers before the central part of the grounds, including the mansion, were taken over by New York state to form Belmont Lake State Park.