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August 25, 2009

Toy Dogs In Pottery

One of the most favorite subjects for the craftsman in porcelain and earthenware has been toy dogs in particular. In Chinese work it has been hard to distinguish between the lion and the dog. The lion-dog and the dog-lion share a lot of Chinese myth. The dogs of Fo during the reign of K’ang Hsi were dogs, however, and not lions. In the city of Peking in 1680 the Emperor K’ang His set up an imperial kiln. At that time it was possible there were a million people working porcelain at 3,000 kilns. This production situation has never been matched.

Dogs of Fo, also sometimes called guardian lions, are found frequently, generally in pairs and usually with the male playing with the traditional woven ball and the female with one of her cubs. Dogs of Fo were made in huge quantities between the years of 1662 and 1722. They were without doubt small dogs of the Pekingese type. It has often been said that it is very doubtful the Chinese ever saw a real lion during this time they referred to these animals as being lion-like, and that it is much more likely the Dogs of Fo, even though they had somewhat of a lion look, were actually dogs and not lions.

1 Comment:

  1. Analou and Bones said...
    That's a hilarious photo of a dog. I love it. I can't help not to crack a smile. It's cute.

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