Friday, March 6, 2009

Things You Find Hidden in Antique Stores

Sometimes you find a thing in some obscure corner of an old antique store that seems potent with the history of place and time.

This late C18 Fu Lion or Fu Dog was one for me.

It was originally the lid of large ceramic urn, as are these fu lion lids for their bronzes.

Urn in the Imperial Living Quarters, Forbidden City, Beijing

The iconography of the decoration of the base of my ceramic lid gives its place of manufacture - the royal pottery in Beijing that produced wares for the Forbidden City.

At some point in its history the ceramic jar was broken - I guess beyond repair. But the lid was obviously thought worth restoring, perhaps in part due to its historical importance. The metal crimpons used suggest this work was done last century.

I lived for a year in China and often enough used to walk round the Forbidden City, bumping into 'relatives' of my beloved Fu Lion.

Finally, two more images - to give more of a sense of my imperial lion in the round.

I have the fanciful idea that I'll find the jar one day - in an auction or antique shop and being sold on it's own as it is unbroken and happily unassociated with its busted lid!


  1. Hope it's not a funerary urn and some ancient demon is looking for his ashes.

    Alan down in Florida

  2. hey alan

    who would know!

    just one of those chances you take at the back of an antique store when you're in an aesthetic frenzy!

    if i disappear suddenly never to be heard of again, at least you'll know why


  3. The legend goes that when a
    fu dog shits, out comes a beautiful bejewelled slipper. This led to the saying,"When the Fu shits, wear it."

  4. hey anon

    LOL LOL LOL - i promise i haven't laughed so loud and long for some time!!!!

    thank you very much!