Chinese blanc de chine dog of Fo incense holder, Kangxi (1662-1722), the dog sitting on his haunches with right paw on a brocade ball, with a tasselled mane down his back, the collar with tassels and a receptacle to his haunches for holding incense, all on a quadrangular base
Height: 5 3/4in. 14.5cm.
Very small peripheral chips
Fo means 'happiness' in Chinese, and these guardian dogs are said to bring good fortune. They would traditionally be found in pairs at the entrance to temples, the female dog shown with a puppy under her front paw, the male dog with a brocade ball as seen here. In China they are generally referred to as 'rui shi' (auspicious lions). They are generally arranged (if you were to look at the temple entrance from outside) with the female lion on the left and the male on the right, as according to the principles of feng shui this will increase their beneficial impact.