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Antique Staffordshire Gelert Dog Watch Holder
C1860. Measures 10 ½" in height. Condition is very good. No chips, stains, or restorations. Firing crack under base. Cannot be seen when displayed. A very rare and hard to find Staffordshire figure.
Llewellyn, Prince of Wales, is said to have loved hunting above all else. When he went hunting he always took with him his Irish wolf dog, Gelert. The prince had many hounds, but Gelert was his favorite and Gelert was always there for the morning hunt. However, one day Gelert did not turn up and eventually Llewellyn went off to hunt. Llewellyn could not enjoy his day and in the end hurried back home to find out what had happened to Gelert. Gelert, giving his usual greeting, met him but Llewellyn was horrified to find that Gelert was covered in blood. Hurrying into the castle, he went to see his son but found the cradle overturned and empty, with no sign of the child and blood was everywhere. Concluding that Gelert must have killed and eaten the child, Llewellyn drew his sword and plunged it into the hound. The stricken Gelert gave a long-drawn out howl as he died. Then the prince heard a child's wail. Llewellyn searched for the source of this sound and found his child under a pile of bedding from the cradle, completely unharmed. Close by was the body of a gaunt wolf, which had obviously been slain by Gelert after a bloody battle. Llywelyn is then overcome with remorse and he buries the dog with great ceremony, yet he still could hear the dying yelp. After that day Llywelyn never smiled again.
Gelert's grave is a major tourist attraction for the mountain village of Beddgelert, situated among the mountains of Snowdonia in Wales. The name of Beddgelert is actually Welsh for Gelert's Grave.