A Pair of Chinese Porcelain Shishi Figures, 1920s

glazed porcelain
12 × 3 × 5 cm
$180 for the pair

Often called Foo Dogs, these beasts are actually lion figures, the vastly reduced distant cousins of the massive stone lions guarding the temples of China. They always come in pairs and like yin and yang they are male and female, the bloke with his foot on a ball and the sheila with a (rather stylised) puppy under her paw. Considered super chic by decorators in the 1920s they were often produced in wild colours like these wonderful turquoise beasts. They may not be large but they certainly are eye catching.

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