With the advent of the Industrial Revolution, whistles underwent further development. One notable manufacturer during this period was James Dixon & Sons, founded in 1806 in Sheffield, Britain. Renowned for their exceptional craftsmanship, the company produced a wide range of items, including kitchenware, sporting trophies, shooting accessories, and powder flasks. Whistles were also among their distinguished products.
Victorian era silver dog whistle found at the Antique Jewelry Company
Inspired by the beauty and uniqueness of Victorian-era silver dog whistles, I felt compelled to create my own collection. I believed these whistles could serve not only as functional tools but also as stylish accessories for both men and women. The idea of functional jewelry fascinated me.
Although Victorian-era silver dog whistles were not originally intended as accessories, resourceful women of that era found a way to incorporate them into their fashion choices. They would attach these whistles to their chatelaines, decorative belt hooks or clasps worn at the waist, which held a series of chains with hooks for hanging small articles such as watches, keys, seals, whistles, thimbles, scissors, and purses. This fusion of utility and fashion inspired me to reimagine these vintage dog whistles with a modern touch.
Chatelaine, 1863 – 1885, probably England. Museum no. M.32:1 to 13-1969. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
To create my collection, I embarked on an exploration of the technical aspects of whistle design. After several iterations and prototypes, I successfully produced a perfectly functioning and loud whistle. With the technical aspects sorted, I then delved into the artistic design process. I selected eight animals as the starting point: the cat, lion, bulldog, raven, deer, ram, horse, and owl. Each of these animal figures carries its own unique story, which can be discovered in the product descriptions.
The most challenging and time-consuming part of the process was sculpting these small animal figures. It took nearly 6-7 months to complete the entire collection. However, my work doesn't stop there. I have plans to expand the whistle collection with additional animals, including a chimpanzee, hare, pig, and giraffe. I hope you will enjoy the evolving collection.
Please take a moment to explore the full range of our whistle collection and discover the stories behind each animal at here.