In an effort to preserve artifacts from the past there seems to be a museum for almost everything these days, but a museum of dog collars?
Located at the fairytale Leeds Castle in England is the world’s largest Dog Collar Museum. Over 400,000 visitors a year visit the picture postcard setting of Leeds Castle which is one of the country’s Top Ten Heritage sites and the Dog Collar Museum is one of the favorite exhibits.
The exhibit features a collection of 160 dog collars spanning five centuries. Through its history Leeds Castle has been home of hunting hounds, gun dogs, mastiffs, spaniels and lapdogs.
Some of the collars are adorned with spikes, which look frightening, but were designed to protect the dog at a time when wolves, bears and wild boars roamed the English forests. Other collars are works of art, engraved silver and baroque designs, decorated with metalwork and velvet.
Heritage Manager Nic Fulcher explains the importance of the exhibit: "Dogs have always played a fundamental part in the life of man as a working animal and as a household pet. They have also been a status symbol which is what pure breeds are today.”
He is surprised by the popularity of the Dog Collar exhibit. He gets more inquiries about dog collars every week than about the rest of the museum. "People clearing their houses find dog collars and want to identify them. We generally can give estimates on when they date from."
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