- THE COLLECTION
- THE SPIRIT OF THE GALLERY
Dog figurine in an orangey terracotta. Moulded representation of a dog standing on all fours with a spiral tail. The head is expressive and it wears a harnessed collar indicating its domestication. Traces of earth from excavation. Good state of preservation, some ancient restorations probable.Ancient China, Han dynasty (208 B.C. – A.D. 220)
This dog is of the Chinese Sharpei breed, commonly large and used as guard dogs. The Chinese have always revered the dogs that have served for hunting for food, they have been palace guards and were also iven as gift to the emperors. When it firts appeared as a pictograph under the Shang dynasty it was refering to a dog officer. It is an ancient tradition in China for dogs to be buried along with heir masters and mistresses to guide them into afterlife. The dog is also an astrological sign which embodies the virtues of loyalty, friendship and longevity. For the Chinese, the dog should be brave and sometimes a thief. Contrary to the western belief, the Chinese do not eat their dogs, however a breed commonly called the « yellow dog » is exclusively raised for its meat.