Antique Flemish Art Pyrography Bulldog Towel Rack

Take a look at this vintage towel rack depicting three bulldogs.  You can see the curved bar in the photo above, which I originally couldn’t see until I actually checked the piece in person. The inscription on the bar reads “English Beauties”.

It’s made of plywood, which I initially thought meant it wasn’t as old as the inscription reads, but a very quick internet search gave the following information: “The technique has been around for a long time – as early as 2600 BC in ancient Egypt – but it was not until the 1850s that plywood started to be used on an industrial scale”.

Also according to an internet search, “Pyrography or pyrogravure is the free handed art of decorating wood or other materials with burn marks resulting from the controlled application of a heated object such as a poker. It is also known as pokerwork or wood burning”.

My experience before now with pyrography – or wood burning as we knew it back in the mid 1960s – wasn’t a pleasant one. I was 9 or 10 years old and in the 4th grade. Our teacher brought in a wood burning set one day and made it clear that if anyone hurt himself or herself, she’d take it home and never bring it back.

Well, I’ve always been a klutz, and of course, I cut myself, badly enough that I still have a scar over 50 years later.

No way was I going to let the teacher or anyone know, but my finger was bleeding like crazy, and I had no tissues or anything to contain the flow. All I had were some school papers and wax paper from my lunch. So I kept my hand inside my desk, with wax paper wrapped around that finger (which only served to smear the mess). But by golly, I managed somehow.

I don’t really remember any more about the incident, and have no idea if the teacher ever figured it out, but it does seem that she didn’t bring the woodburning set back to class again.

In any event, I have great respect for anyone who can not only use such tools without wounding himself, but who can actually create something of beauty!

Dimensions:  About 13″ wide by 7″ high by about 2 1/2″ deep.  With the chain, it’s just under 14″ long.

Condition:   Excellent antique condition.  The inscription on the reverse dates the piece back to 1910 (apparently it originally said 1912,  but was overwritten to say 1910).  The wording is “To Fred Berg, 1910 by Florence. To Frederick Anderson”.

   $48.00, plus 5.5% Maine State Sales tax of $2.64 for a total of $50.64.

Unless we’re having a sale, which would be listed here, our prices are firm.  

Location & Purchasing: This piece is located in our display case (#27) at Cabot Mill Antiques, Fort Andross, 14 Maine Street, Brunswick ME. You can purchase directly through them by visiting that beautiful shop, 7 days a week from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (7:00 pm on Fridays).

Alternatively, if you don’t mind waiting a bit:

Shipping & Delivery: Because this item is on display 20 miles from us, I may not even know for several days (usually over a weekend) whether or not an item is still available, but can bring it back to Lewiston for you the next time I’m in Brunswick updating our display. At that point, you’d be able to take advantage of local pick up at my office (by appointment only), or I can get it delivered to you per the next paragraph.

We can deliver within Lewiston-Auburn most days, or along the Lewiston-Lisbon-Topsham-Brunswick route (dates vary), for a $15.00 delivery fee, or Gray/Portland (along the 202 Route, or just off it) early Wednesday mornings for the same $15.00.

Shipping via USPS is $10.00.   

For other options, please review our most recent blog on Possible Delivery Options in the Next Week (use the search feature), or our Shipping & Delivery page at

Buying Details:  We are very low tech.  Payment can be made via PayPal, good check (please allow 1 week to clear if not known to us) or cash. 


Or you can email Linda at to arrange purchase, or for a somewhat faster response, text 207-740-2247.  Thanks!

All sales after expenses help support The Grief Warrior Project.


This entry was posted in 1910s Era, Art - Animals, Art - Classic & Vintage, Art - Folk Art, Country Decor, Home Decor and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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