Antique Ceramic Foo Dogs
Antique Ceramic Foo Dogs (also known as Chinese Guardian Lions or Fu dogs) are symbolized as guardians of temples and palaces in China, Vietnam, Japan, India and Tibet.

Brief history and description

Although the symbol of the Foo dog first originated in India, the idea then migrated to Buddhist cultures in other counties. Soon after, the Chinese started to transform the image of Foo dog sculptures into different breeds of dogs that were thought to resemble lions. Today, smaller versions of Foo dogs symbolize good fortune and prosperity in the home, making them unique decorative items for any household.

Foo dogs are generally depicted in pairs (representing a male and a female) with the female lion sitting on the left and the male on the right. Some antique Foo dogs may be depicted with pearls in their mouths, which represent enlightenment, wisdom and good fortune.

Guide for collectors

Antique ceramic dogs from Vietnam, India or Tibet are considered to be rare, while ceramic dogs from China are typically more common. Ceramic Foo dogs which feature pearls in their mouths are considered to be rare, but not necessarily the most valuable.

Restoration of an antique ceramic Foo dog is recommended, but only if there is noticeable damage. However, restoring an antique ceramic Foo dog may decrease its value.

For more information regarding antique ceramic Foo dogs, visit Vigraha Sacred Art's official website.


Bill Hood & Sons Art & Antique Auctions in Delray Beach, Florida sold a large blue and white Chinese ceramic Foo dog (14" in height) for $475 in January of 2012.

Lewis & Maese Antiques in Houston, Texas sold a ceramic Foo dog for $200 in February of 2012.

CIS Asset Solutions in Austin, Texas sold a 19th century teal and white ceramic Foo dog for $160 in December of 2009.

Lewis & Maese Antiques in Houston, Texas sold a pair of antique ceramic Foo dogs for $50 in May of 2009.

San Rafael Auction Gallery in San Rafael, California sold a ceramic Chinese Foo dog for $40 in September of 2007.

See also

Main article: Ceramics
Main article: Antiques

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