Click the above image to zoom

Chinese export porcelain hexagonal box and cover, knob and handles moulded as foo dogs playing with brocade balls, Qianlong


Stock Number: 5056

Rare and fine Chinese export porcelain hexagonal box and cover decorated in gilt and opaque enamels from the famille rose (fencai) palette with panels of Chinese figures, the knob and handles moulded as foo dogsplaying with brocade balls, c. 1770, Qianlong reign, Qing dynasty, h. 13 cm, 5 in; w. 23 cm, 9 in. 4-18256

◆ Foo Dogs are the ancient sacred dogs of Asia who guard Buddhist temples. The association between these dogs and Buddha is one of great significance. Foo Dogs have the appearance of a lion. The lion in Buddhist religion is seen as sacred and has sometimes been offered to Buddha as a sacrifice. The name given to these guardians originates from China. The Chinese word for Buddha is Fo, which led to the original title: Dog of Fo.

Foo Dogs can be traced as early as the Han Dynasty. Their first appearance was in Chinese art, which dates back to approximately 208 BC to about 221 AD. Foo Dogs vanished for nearly 400 years after their first appearance. They later returned in the Tang Dynasty which was in power from 618 to 917 AD. Foo Dogs were popular because of their meaning. The Lion is a creature of the feline race that is known as the proud master of all cats. Its introduction into Chinese art coincided with Buddhism. The Foo Dog was the protector of sacred buildings and a defender of law. The dogs were commonly placed at business institutions, temple gates, home entrances, and estates. It was also not uncommon to see these sacred dogs guarding tombs or placed in front of government buildings to scare evil spirits. Throughout the ages, Foo Dogs were frequently given as gifts to the Emperor. They would be presented in sculptures or in the form of artwork.


◆ 佛犬,在亞洲文化中式守護佛寺的古老神犬, 和菩薩的關係至關重要。佛犬外貌似獅子。在佛教中,獅子的形象神聖,有時更作為給菩薩的祭品。佛犬名字源自中國,佛的讀音為Fo,因此其被稱為佛犬。佛犬的來源可追溯到漢代,其形象的首次出現,是在公元前208年至公元221年的中國藝術品上。但在隨後的400年里,佛犬卻不見了蹤影。直到公元618年至917年的唐代,他們又重新出現。因為其意義非凡,佛犬受到極大的歡迎。而獅子則是貓科動物之首,它緊跟著佛教滲入中國和中國藝術。佛犬,是神舍的保護著和法律的守護者。很多生意場所,寺廟門口,住家入口和墓地里通常都能看到這些佛犬的身影。這些神犬可用來保護墓葬,又或是在政府部門門口驅邪。這麼多年來,佛犬一直不斷被製成塑像或是工藝品,作為貢品進貢給皇上。