It was while reading a book recently (or was it a blog?) that I first came across the image of the Meissen Bolognese Dog, above. (For the life of me, I can't remember in which book I first saw the dog.) Anyway, I later discovered that the dog, or a similar one, is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Modeled by Johann Gottlieb Kirchner around 1733, the porcelain figure is really very striking and fascinating too. I admit that it's a little odd that such a gnarly and rather ferocious looking dog could capture my attention.
Certainly, he (or possibly she?) is not as handsome as a proper English Staffordshire spaniel nor as refined as a Meissen pug. But isn't that the beauty of the dog? His pedigree is a little questionable yes, but that lack of provenance doesn't make him any less attractive in my eyes. In fact, his mutt-ish appearance is what I find so intriguing. And you know what they say about mutts- they make the best dogs. (Sorry, Alfie.)
Yes, there are a lot of pretty porcelain puppies out there, but I think it's time to give a less-fortunate looking one a good home.
Figure of a dog, painted Porcelain, Chinese, c. 18th c., collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum
Figure of a dog, glazed porcelain, Chinese, c. 1662-1722, collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum
Porcelain dog, Chinese, c. 1750-70, collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Dog, Chinese, c. 18th c., collection of Les Arts Decoratifs
A pair of Chinese Export dogs, c. 1780-90, available through George Subkoff Antiques.
Chinese Export dogs, one with a puppy on its back, c. 1850, available through Kentshire Galleries.