For sale is a genuine ancient clay pottery Chinese Zodiac Dog Figure dating to the Six Dynasties (222-589 A.D.). This grey earthenware piece is a particularly charming and rare depiction.
The sculpture captures the animal in strikingly abstract form, yet the pose is instantly recognisable to any dog owner. Lying prone with its legs crossed and head raised, as if alert to to a sudden noise, the ancient artist has captured a wonderfully lifelike snapshot. With the innocent hint of a smile, this robustly modeled piece has a rustic quality that seemingly transcends age or culture.
Dogs played an important role in ancient China, and were associated with hunting from very early times. Indeed the Chinese character for hunting, lie (獵) is written using the radical for dog. This model canine would have sat alongside other figures as part of a set of twelve depicting the animals of the zodiac.
Legend has it that the Jade Emperor ordered the animals of the zodiac to race across a river, with the years on the calendar being named for each animal in the order that they arrived on the far bank. When the dog arrived in eleventh place, the Jade Emperor was curious as to why the best swimmer of all the animals had failed to win. The dog was forced to explain that he could not resist the temptation to play a little longer in the river.
Those born in the year of the dog are traditionally seen as idealistic and impulsive individuals who will always follow what they believe to be the right path. They are defiant against injustice and are loyal in support for their causes, though they are productive and enthusiastic, they can also be rash, rebellious and quarrelsome.
The 'Dog' years are: 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018.
Condition: Very good. Tail missing, unrestored with age related wear and encrustation synonymous with an ancient artefact. A wonderful piece.
Provenance: This piece is from a large number of mostly Chinese antiques, purchased from a shop clearance in the south of England. These items were all exhibited at London department store Fortnum & Mason, approximately 15 years ago. Ex. UK antiques dealer.
Height: 6 5/8 inches.
For a piece of very similar style but depicting a mouse, please see the following example in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Authenticity: All items are unconditionally guaranteed to be Authentic as described. For added security we offer a full money-back guarantee if a recognized authority disputes the authenticity of any object sold.
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