Antique Pair Chinese Carved Wooden Foo Dogs
AGE: – Circa 1850 – 1900
CONSTRUCTION: – Camphor wood
HEIGHT: – 28cm
DEPTH: – 13cm
WEIGHT:– 2.20 kg. (Pair)
#208 – PRICE: CONTACT
Antique Pair Chinese Carved Wooden Foo Dogs, also referred to as guardian lions, are made from Camphor wood. This pair of Foo dogs were sourced in Malacca, Malaysia, where there has been a revival and restoration of buildings that belonged to the Baba Nonya people, they would more than likely have sat on an altar in a Baba Nonya home.
Houses in Malacca, consist of rows of semi-detached buildings, between two to three levels, they are mostly long and narrow from front to back. Traditionally these homes have a central open courtyard with rooms on all sides, often this was where the cooking and washing were performed.
Houses belonging to the wealthier class were highly decorative, with a lot of intricately carved furniture and fittings with a lot of gilding. Restaurants specializing in Peranakan-style foods have also become popular in this small beautiful city which gives an air of time standing still.
The Peranakan people were the first Straights-born Chinese who integrated with the Malay people, adopting some of their cultures whilst retaining some of their own Chinese cultures. Peranakan people also formed their own communities in Singapore, Indonesia, and Penang, with much the same influence as that seen in Malacca.
The dress style and food of Peranakan people are unique in that it is a blend of both cultures, Chinese and Malay. These particular foo dogs are traditional to this period.
Traditionally, Chinese Foo dogs or Foo lions are usually placed outside the entrance to buildings, Chinese temples, homes, shops, banks, and recreational parks according to Feng Shui principles. Feng Shui is a Chinese system of beliefs for harmonizing spaces to promote and bring good luck, health, and well-being, it is closely linked to the practice of Daoism/Taoism.
For those who practice feng shui principles in Western countries, a pair of foo dogs are often displayed at the entrance to the home to harmonize the space and to bring in good luck.
Placement of these foo dogs or foo lions is important when looking into the building, usually, at an entrance, the female with the cub under the left paw is placed on the left, and the male with the ball under the right paw is placed on the right-hand side of the door.