Jay Heritage Center Van Norden Collection
The handsome mug in the pic above lives at the Jay Heritage Center, a gift from a member of the Van Norden family, who owned the mansion prior to its becoming a museum. The signature of the artist, Gustav Manz, can be spotted just above the second "A" in "America." The Van Nordens bred many champion dogs as well as livestock at their estate in Rye, New York—from Frenchies shown at the 1900 Paris Exposition, to Highland cattle brought to the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.
Sometime after the club's inaugural meeting on February 12, 1898, a commission for a special bronze medal carved by Manz was arranged by jeweler F. Walter Lawrence (whose stamp appears on the rim). An avid golfer and founding member of the Canoebrook Country Club near his home in Summit, New Jersey, Lawrence had grown up in Maryland and was plugged into the sporty set.
Manz, by contrast, entered the trade at 14 as a goldsmith's apprentice in Germany, then worked in shops across Europe before taking a year to prospect in Africa's diamond fields and sketch the wild animals he would later carve in bronze, gold, and platinum. His medal must have been well received: it appeared on the cover of the Westminster Show edition of the French Bull Dog Club's magazine in January 1913.