Antique 17th Century Chinese Fu Dogs Rug 48031
An important cultural artifact, this antique carpet is a unique and powerful example of Chinese art from this period. A majestic and traditional Chinese Fu Dog stands in the center.
Beautiful Antique 17th Century Chinese Fu / Foo Dogs Rug, Country Of Origin: China, Circa date: Mid-17th Century – Here is a compelling and unique antique Oriental rug – a Chinese carpet with Foo Dogs that was woven in China during the seventeenth century. An important cultural artifact, this antique carpet is a unique and powerful example of Chinese art from this period. The composition is fairly straightforward, but riddled with surprises and treasures. First, a band of dark brown serves as the outermost border, surrounding the perimeter of the piece. The field is positioned in the center, and is surrounded by a complex of smaller borders. Each of these borders contains unique Chinese symbols and patterns that are deeply evocative of the culture that brought them into being. Then, in the very center of the field, set against a ruddy background tone of brown-red, is a beautifully composed Foo Dog, an ancient Chinese symbol of protection. While called Foo Dogs in the west, these creatures are a actually a specifically Chinese interpretation of lions, statues of which guard some of the most ancient and important sites in China. A unique example. This Chinese 17th century rug is a compelling cultural artifact – especially for people who buy rugs that are especially rare and old.
This 17th Century Foo Dog Chinese rug, rendered in shades of brown and red, features a guardian Foo dog, which is one of several symbolic animals in Chinese tradition. These animals are depicted in many aspects of Chinese life, and statues of them can be found outside government offices, by cultural landmarks, and adorning the homes of the wealthy. Traditionally, the use of Foo dog imagery was restricted to the Chinese elite, but modern Chinese culture has done away with those limitations, and the use of the Foo dog motif has become more widespread. The dogs are often seen in pairs, with a male Foo dog resting its paw on an orb, representing China’s strength and supremacy, and a female Foo dog with her pups, symbolizing the nurturing and protective aspect of China’s power. This rug features the imagery of a female Foo dog and her pups. Since this Foo Dog rug is meant for a domestic space, the symbolic ideas of nurturing and protection inherent in the scene is appropriate.
The origin of the name “Foo Dog” comes from Chinese Buddhist tradition. For those who practice Buddhism, the lion is a sacred animal, and in ancient times lions were often given as a sacrifice to Buddha. “Fo” in Chinese means “God,” hence “Fo Dog,” or “Foo Dog,” dog of God. Most depictions of Foo Dogs have some things in common: For example, they are almost always seen with wide, open jaws, as if growling or barking. This is meant to symbolize the animal scaring away evil spirits. Foo dogs are also very stylized, which contributed to a Western myth that the Chinese had never seen an actual lion — However, this is not true. Lions were introduced into China in about 200 BC, and some emperors even kept the wild beasts as pets. Like many animals in Chinese tradition, they are depicted according to what their perceived spirit looks like, as opposed to Western depictions of lions in artwork, which are based more on natural observation.
Area rugs like this one which combines the striking imagery of the Foo dog with neutral, calming colors, which creates a sense of balance within the piece. This beautiful antique rug would be beautiful either used traditionally as an area rug for the floor, or hung on the wall as a tapestry rug in any classic interior.