This original drypoint etching as denoted in pencil on the back was done by artist Bert Cobb of his own two collies, Lassie and Laddie sometime in the late 1920s to early 1930s. Apparently, from the paper sticker on the back, this etching was offered by the world-famous Gump’s of San Francisco. Gump Brothers started the first art gallery in San Francisco and searched for art world-wide to appeal to their wealthy homeowners of Nob Hill and Van Ness Avenue. Cobb shows his artistry with the very fine detail of the dogs' fur and even the expression in their faces. The etching is signed twice on the right, and the artist has hand-written Laddie and Lassie on the bottom left. Framed, it measures 18 ¾” x 15 ½”; the exposed etching measures 12” x 10”. Since the prestigious Gump’s label is securely fastened to the dust cover on the back, we have not removed the etching. The simple, thin wood frame is accented in a very thin line of black and modestly graces the wonderful artwork. The frame has some scratches and wear, and on one corner a piece of wood is missing. The etching is in excellent condition with only a couple of small brown spots; the photos were hard to take because of muted reflections in the glass, some of which look like flaws in the art, but other than aging, there are no flaws to the the etching. The matting has aged or browning to it. On the dust cover at the top, there is hand-written, probably by a Gump’s employee: Laddie and Lassie, original etching by Bert Cobb. At the bottom by the Gump’s sticker is a handwritten number; I assume an inventory number.
Bert Cobb had two distinct careers in the art world. Born in 1869 in Chicago, he received his training at the Philadelphia Academy of fine Arts in the late 1880s where he learned etching, cartooning, woodcuts and lithography. He started his career at the Kansas City Star and then in Philadelphia where he contributed comic strips to the syndication McClure’s Sunday Section and the Philadelphia Sunday Press. By 1900 he was residing in New York City and contributing writings and comics to the syndicated New York Morning Telegraph Sunday edition. He branched out and began designing sheet music cover art. He launched his own comic art and literature periodical, Pen and Ink. His works were seen in Puck, New York Globe, Boston Herald and Boston Post, and an early version of Life Magazine.
In the early 1920s, Cobb completely changed direction in his art career, dedicating himself to mostly drypoint etchings of famous dogs, many commissioned by the dog owners. These etchings were exhibited in galleries from coast to coast, and he compiled two books of his artwork, published in the 1930s. Cobb came down with pneumonia in either 1935 or 1936 (whichever account you read), and died within a few days.
This would be wonderful addition to your dog collection or as a stand-alone piece of art. Please contact us if you have any questions.
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