Chow Chow

Nicely-Cast Iron "Chow Chow" Bookends (LEO Design)

Chow Chows are one of the “Ancient Breeds” of dogs which still survive.  They originated in the frigid steppes of Siberia and Mongolia and were eventually trained to serve as guard dogs in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and Chinese royal palaces.  Referred to as “Fluffy Lions,” they are thought to have been the original models for the classic Chinese Foo Dog sculptures.  Even to this day, large, carved versions of Chows can be found standing guard outside Chinese palaces and other protected properties.  The breed was also used for farm work, herding and even pulling sleds—an activity witnessed (and remarked upon) by Marco Polo during his explorations of China.

They have a distinctive blue (or black) tongue—which must have amused Queen Victoria who had a beloved Chow Chow puppy.  It is said she carried it wherever she went—despite the protestations of courtiers who complained that such conduct was not befitting a Queen.

These bookends, made int he 1920’s, are nicely modeled and have a rich patina.  In 23 years of collecting bookends, I have never seen or come-across another pair.   Please click upon the photo above to learn ore about them.


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