Vintage Japanese Panel Foo Dog Carvings / Lion Relief Carved Panels

Sale price$150.00

Dimensions: 6-1/4”h x 3/4”w x 18-3/4”l

The main body of this set of two wooden carved panels focuses on two animated Foo Dogs facing one another with a round ball symbolizing the Earth and unity. Foo Dogs always come in pairs — a male and a female for which you shouldn’t ever have a single Foo Dog. The ball in the center of the carving rests upon what looks like an “A-un” interpretation in wood and is related to the beginning and the end of the universe in Buddhism. Authentically represented Foo Dogs are designed with one having an open mouth and the other closed. This represents life's in-and-out breathing and the sound of “om.” Themes of this type of pierced carvings were widely used in Japan, China, and throughout Asia. 

According to Feng Shui, Foo Dogs are best placed where they are sure to be noticed we believe this pair was originally on top of the frame and both sides of a sliding door (障子), and beneath the ceiling in a traditional Japanese house. These panels incorporate two-dimensional carving with the carving only on the front face and not the back. In a decorative sense, it was used as a subtle way for a family to demonstrate its wealth.

Additional Information: This type of carving requires years of training and mentorship. One must remember that the value of an antique comes from its age and the patina that developed over the years. The process of preparing the wood alone requires time and skills. The artisan must dry the wood, sketch a design, carve out patterns, and repeat the steps until the details are pronounced and polished. Few woodworkers are found today who can repair old and rare pieces for demands for treasured items have shifted over the years. Many of the older Asian craftsmen left the profession and later pieces were a shadow of what the craft was in its prime. People in Japan and abroad collect these fine woodcrafts to enhance and give a personal touch to contemporary environments.

Condition: As is, original condition retaining the craft/workmanship detailing by carvers from the period and commensurate with age. See the image of the lower panel (for which the image can be enlarged), to see the splitting, that because of its rarity and value, was professionally repaired sometime in the 40's, in two places, which does not deter from the function, aesthetic, or value of the piece. Pricing takes this into account.