This delicate silver William & Mary piece dated 1691, inscribed with Miss R Jenkins, Charlton Hill, is estimated at £2000-3000 in the Tennants March 17 auction.

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The rhyme above is engraved on a 19th century brass dog collar, one of 31 examples from a private collection to go under the hammer at Tennants of Leyburn in North Yorkshire on March 17.

The group dates from the 17th to early 20th centuries, with examples in silver, brass, copper and leather, and of varying sizes – from small engraved silver bands for lapdogs to 4in (10cm) wide brass mastiff collars.

The earliest example is this delicate silver William & Mary piece shown above, dated 1691. Inscribed with Miss R Jenkins, Charlton Hill, it carries an estimate of £2000-3000.

A George I collar, made from a thicker strip of brass and inscribed Mr John Bordwisell of Boothferry owner in Yorkshire 1721, is guided at £700-1000.

As our relationship with canines have changed, so too has the function of the dog collar. The earliest examples were wide metal contraptions, often covered in spikes to protect vulnerable necks when hunting wolves and bears, or from attacking foe.

Gradually, as dogs became both symbols of status and pampered pets, the collar became more ornamental, reflecting the wealth and standing of the animal’s owner.

Estimates in the collection overall range from £200-3000.

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