Occupation: Posing for paintings, attacking Gramophones, looking for His Masters Voice
Loves: Being a world famous icon, treats
Francis Barraud’s painting of a fox terrier to an early gramophone remains one of the oldest and best-known of trademarks and records logos. It was a brilliantly conceived piece of commercial art that has become one of the worlds most recognised trade marks.
Nipper was a stray dog found by Mark Barraud (Francis Barraud’s brother) in 1884. He was called Nipper because he a habit of nipping at the back legs of any visitors. Nipper became Francis’ pet three years later when Mark died. The iconic ‘His Master’s Voice’ painting was made some time before 1899, although in the original Nipper was listening to an Edison phonograph.
On May 31, 1899, Barraud went to the Maiden Lane offices of The Gramophone Company with the intention of borrowing a brass horn to replace the original black horn on the painting. Manager William Barry Owen suggested that if the artist replaced the machine with a Berliner disc gramophone the Company would buy the painting. Since then Nipper has been the face of a huge global brand the ‘His Master’s Voice’ painting is one of the most recognised trademarks in the world.