Salvolatile – FBDCA Specialty 1910 Original Best of Breed Winner
In 1910, at the second annual French Bull Dog Club of America Specialty Show, held at the Hotel Astor Ballroom in New York City, a brindle and white bitch named Best of Breed.
Salvolatile was a massive bitch of heavy bone, and extremely “bully” in type. The reason for this is simple – she was, in fact, out of an English Bulldog. This is not as unusual as it may seem, as there was a great deal of intermingling while the breed was still in the early stages of recognition. In fact, up until the twenties one could choose to register their dog with the AKC as either a French Bulldog, or a Miniature Bulldog. In many cases, the only difference came down to whether the dog in question had ‘bat ears’ or ‘rose ears’.
After Salvolatile’s Best of Breed win at the specialty show, a complaint was lodged with the show chairpersons and the judge. Shortly afterwards, her win was overturned and Best of Breed was instead awarded to her Best of Opposite, Nellcote Gamin.
Salvolatile’s owner, Mrs. Mary Winthrop Turner, describes this occurrence in an excerpt from her kennel brochure:
“During the Fall, 1910, a controversy re the type and origin of the French Bulldog, was carried on through the columns of many of the dog periodicals. This controversy grew out of the protest which was lodged against the famous French Bull bitch, “SALVOLATILE” of which I was then, and still am, the fortunate owner.
Mr. Maurice Greenwood was the owner of the English Bulldog “Peggie.” He took her to the Warren Kennels and she was there bred (so I am informed) by Mr. Purdy, at that time President of the French Bulldog Club of New England, to his dog “Cyrano.”
“SALVOLATILE” was first shown in New England where her breeding was no secret. She was next shown at Newark, N.J., where she received winners and finally, at the Hotel Astor, New York April 21, 1910, Specialty Show of the French Bulldog Club of America where she received winners under Mr. James Mortimer.
Shortly after this, a protest was lodged through envy, and it was sustained, and she was disqualified justly, according to the laws of the American Kennel Club.”
— Text from a Pamphlet written by Mary Winthrop-Turner, owner of Salvolatile. From the collection of Colette Secher.