| Associations | Articles | Exhibitions | Galleries

Visitors' Forum

Asian Art  Forums - Detail List
Asian Art Forums

Message Listing by Date:
Message Index | Back | Post a New Message | Search | Private Mail | FAQ
Subject:Chindit Dragons?
Posted By: Beanz Mon, Nov 22, 2021 IP:

Evening all,

Not sure whether the terminology for this pair is correct. They came back from 'Burma' in 1947 after the war and have been in the family since then. Whether they were given or bought is not sure but here they are, they do make a fine pair.
If anybody out there has some decent history about the cultural impact these had it would be very interesting.

Have a great evening further

Subject:Re: Chindit Dragons?
Posted By: Beanz Tue, Nov 23, 2021

So with a bit of digging I managed to find out that these were in fact Chinthe statues from the Burmese Buddhist culture.
What I would like to know is what the symbolic meanings of the different objects that are beneath the paws of the pair.
Comments with anybody who has knowledge on this would be very interesting.
Many thanks.

Subject:Re: Chindit Dragons?
Posted By: Bill H Tue, Nov 23, 2021

These are a pair of made-in-China auspicious Buddhistic "Fu Lions" a.k.a. "Fu Dogs". The names stem from the fact that China has no native population of lions, which are associated with the historic Buddha Sakyamuni. However, the Chinese were able to breed the Pekingese dog to look like a miniature lion and thereafter was a model for this Buddha.

Considering their apparently good condition, you might wish to consider that they could have entered you family collection a few years after the mid-20th century, including during the Korean War. However, Burma (now Myanmar) does share a border with China's Yunnan Province, so the circa mid-century date can't be ruled out.

Any markings on the base? I've added a photo of a ceramic snuff bottle with apocryphal mark of the Jiaqing reign (1796-1820) to show how fu lions were portrayed around the time of the Guangxu Emperor (1875-1908).

Best regards,

Bill H.

Subject:Re: Chindit Dragons?
Posted By: Beanz Wed, Nov 24, 2021

We are having a good laugh on this side, for years Trevor has known them to be 'dragons' as his father always told that story of the 'Chindit dragons' returning with him after the stint in Burma in the latter part of WW2 only to be dropped down to the size of a Pekingese.
Attached are images of the underneath of both pieces, 70 belongs to the left piece and 74 belongs the right piece.
Thank you for taking the time to respond, it's been interesting to say the least

Subject:Re: Chindit Dragons?
Posted By: Bill H Wed, Nov 24, 2021

I'll see if I can stare down the character mark, which is confusing because it lacks definition. The numbers definitely are atypical for Chinese products before the 20th century. Now, let me try again to download that photo I mentioned.

Best regards,

Bill H.

Subject:Re: Chindit Dragons?
Posted By: Bill H Thu, Nov 25, 2021

Actually, the identification of this mark came to me in another query today. It reads down apocryphally as "Hong Wu" (洪武), the first Ming emperor, who was on the throne from 1368-98.

Best regards,

Bill H.

Subject:Re: Chindit Dragons?
Posted By: Beanz Fri, Nov 26, 2021

Would this then be some form of tribute to him?
I have found out further that the 2 objects below the paws are: ball and cub. I would imagine they are attributed to a meaning in some form or another.
Further digging has led me to believe these items were produced 1920-1949 which fits right in with the family story of them returning with Tucker in 47.
The further you dig, the more interesting it gets. | Associations | Articles | Exhibitions | Galleries |