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Creature Comforts
Victorian advertising trade cards 108 x 70mm (4¼ x 2¾in)

Creature Comforts

These pictures from the 19th century, elegantly printed in gold and colours by chromolithography, showcase people alongside their pets exhibiting physical similarities in facial features and hairstyles. The phenomenon of pets resembling their owners has been a subject of interest and amusement for many years.

Portrayed on all forms of printed matter domestic pets were often given anthropomorphic postures, perhaps to emphasize the harmonious companionship the Victorians had for their pets. More likely, however, was for the fun often poked at the likeness between certain animal characteristics and their human counterparts.

Creature Comforts
Stock cards - cards available from stock for over-printing with an advertiser's own wording

There is no scientific consensus on the exact reasons behind this phenomenon, but various factors may contribute to its explanation. One thing is that people tend to choose pets that have similar physical traits or personalities to their own. It's as if they're drawn to animals that remind them of themselves.

When people really bond with their pets on an emotional level, they start treating them like part of the family or their best friends. They start thinking of them as having human-like feelings and personalities. When you see your pet as more human-like, it's easier to believe they actually look like you! Next time you're out and about, take a look around—maybe you'll spot some hilarious look-alikes in the animal kingdom!


This regular feature shows special items from members’ own collections. Submissions by email should include a scan of the item.