Royal Doulton Flambé animal study, Dog of Fo. Designed byWilliam K. Harper, issued 1982. Size: 5.25”H. From the RDICC series.
The Dog of Fo is actually a common representation of the lion in pre-modern China. It is believed to have powerful mythic protective powers and has traditionally stood in front of Chinese Imperial palaces, Imperial tombs, government offices, temples and homes of the wealthy since the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220). Pairs of the guardian lions are still common decorative and symbolic elements even today. The Dog of Fo also occurs in many types of Chinese-themed pottery such as this figure designed by William K. Harper for the Royal Doulton International Collectors Club.