Foo Dogs also known as Komainu (Japan) or Shi (Chinese Guardian Lions) have been symbols of protection for thousands of years. In Asia they have stood guard at the entrances of palaces, government buildings, temples, tombs, and homes of the wealthy. Existing in pairs as a manifestation of the female yin and male yang they protect the people inside a dwelling (and their internal soul) as well as the external material elements. Initially produced as architectural elements of significant size and weight, only the very wealthiest could claim ownership and benefit from the resulting good fortune. Eventually more decorative copies were created and widely distributed throughout Asia.
This particular pair from the late 19th, early 20th century are glazed porcelain. Large and in wonderful condition. Purchased from an estate in Lake Forest.
They measure 17"w x 18" h x 12"d.