Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Blue Fu Dogs


Everywhere I look I am seeing blue fu dogs. They have become a Chinoiserie classic for the Hollywood Regency look. Isn't this fu dog garden in Robert Allerton Park in Illinois incredible? Be on the lookout for a pair for your home-great sources include eBay, flea markets, Pier One, Pearl River, and 1st dibs.


Apartment Therapy.


Lindsey Harper via Aesthetic Oiseau.


Some lovely examples.








36 comments:

Kitty said...

I love foo dogs! There are two of them guarding the entry of my old house... I really need to go collect them from the tenants so I can feel safe and lucky here! Great post! xo kitty

little augury said...

Ok- I know you are going to crack me over the head with a foo dog-But I have a pair that are really great looking in storage-another- no place to put them -but they are brown and about 22" high. I love them,but... any takers, let me know.pgt

A Gift Wrapped Life said...

I have pairs of foo dogs everywhere (probably too many) but not in blue.....sigh.

magnaverde said...

For anybody who likes the combination of Chinoiserie & landscape design--and who doesn't mind driving through county after county of cornfields to see it--Allerton Park near Monticello, Illinois is the place to go. It's a former private estate, created out of plain old farmland between 1900 & 1930, and besides the Garden of the Fu Dogs, the series of formal gardens also includes a walled garden with hedge mazes clipped into a Chinoiserie design taken from one of Robert Allerton's silk dressing gowns, with centerpieces of carved stone fish taken from a palace in old Peking; a broad gravel path through a wooded glade flanked by a double row of allegedly "Chinese" musicians carved of limestone; a summer house of vaguely Chinese-looking iron treillage, not to mention stone sculptures of various Hindu gods, carved wooden fish from Bali atop massive Art Deco pylons in a huge sunken amphitheatre, and just to maintain keep the global balance, statuary by Antoine Bourdelle, Carl Milles, Auguste Rodin, Glyn Philpot & Frederick Kuohl, all of it set into a larger English-style park of heavy woods & rolling meadows with open vistas.

I first saw the Fu Dog Garden at Allerton when I was 12, when my Boy Scout troop entered unexpectedly through its wooded back gate for a rest stop--after the first half of a 30-mile hike--& I've been going back ever at least once a year ever since. For a kid living in a little no-acount prairie town, the place was pretty impressive. Hell, these days I live in Chicago & I'm the historian for a National Historic Landmark, and the place is still impressive, maybe even more so now than it was then, because now I know what I'm looking at. Anyway, after that first visit, I spent a few days carving a pair of 2-foot high Fu Dogs for our own garden. It only took a few days because I used styrofoam, which I then painted with a coat of high-gloss blue paint. Unfortunately, it was the wrong kind of paint, and right before my eyes, my Fu Dogs dissolved like the Wicked Witch of the West, leaving not much more than my the dogs' ping-pong ball eyeballs sitting on a puddle of blue-&-white goo. Oh, well. Live & learn.

La Maison Fou said...

My sister and I recently found two pairs of the turquoise foo dogs and carried them home by 2 plane rides. Then last weekend at our local flea she found a righteous pair with turquoise green bodies and some color, a find from an old estate. She is hooked, I also have a great little lamp with a Foo.

Too much foo foo ???? Never!!

Leslie

Aesthetic Oiseau said...

I love those dogs on LH's bookcases so much! Thanks for the link :)

Theresa Cheek said...

Love the blue theme of foo dogs. I have a few pair, but no blue ones :(. With pantone picking turquoise for the 2010 color, I see many things going this direction. Great post!

(IN)DECOROUS TASTE said...

Another foo freak! I have a collection of foos, I call them the Foo Family, haha.

(IN)DECOROUS TASTE said...

And little augury- YES, we will both crack you on the head with a foo! The bigger the better! I love enormous foos. You know, if it's the color that bothers you, you could always paint them- prime them with Zinsser primer and then glaze them with a translucent, water based pigment.

Chic Coles (Cole Design) said...

One of my mom's favorite accessories are these blue fu dogs. She loves them! Although I hate to be negative on people's blogs (or my own for that fact...) I find them a little scary...they aren't like the cute little furry dogs that I would want to snuggle on the couch with but more like a cross between a mean dog and a dragon. Is that the point?

Averill said...

I've got an inexpensive pair in red-orange that I'm thinking about spray painting turquoise.

home before dark said...

What great fun this has been to read especially from the fearless ones: Magnaverde and (In)decorous where art is just a spray can away. My neighbor has foo dogs on her porch. I covet them. I think stealing them would not be good karma, so I simply lust from next door.

Kitty said...

magnaverde's comment is so interesting!

Donata Guerra said...

The small top pair is identical to my purchase back in the mid-90s from an elderly couple in Wilmington, Delaware who operated a Chinese antique emporium from their house near historic Pennsylvania Avenue (19th century site of the "haute monde" of that period). I am feeling joyful that my impulse is validated here. Sincerely, Donata

lady jicky said...

Oooo, you know I love a good Foo dog!

Chic Provence, A Way of Life said...

Foos are fabulous, exotic, charming, esp. in turquoise! great post

Style Redux 2 said...

Kitty-You do need to retrieve those!

Style Redux 2 said...

Little Augury-I bet (In)Decorous Taste would do something fun with them! Such a nice big size too!

Style Redux 2 said...

Sande-You'll have to find a spot for a pair of blue.

Style Redux 2 said...

Magnaverde-Thanks for all this information. If anything could get me to downstate Illinois, it would be this.

Style Redux 2 said...

Leslie-Oh how fun! Never ever too much!

Style Redux 2 said...

Aesthetic Oiseau-Thanks for the inspiration.

Style Redux 2 said...

Theresa-I agree that this color is coming on strong.

Style Redux 2 said...

(In)decorous Taste-I think there are a lot of us out here.

Style Redux 2 said...

(In)Decorous Taste-It would be so fun to see what you would do with them.

Style Redux 2 said...

CC-Yes, they are guardians-symbols of protection.

Style Redux 2 said...

Averill-Read Lauren's comment-(In)Decorous Taste on how to do it!

Style Redux 2 said...

Home Before Dark-Definitely bad karma-might have to find your own!

Style Redux 2 said...

Kitty-Wonderful, a little novella.

Style Redux 2 said...

Donata-Great!

Style Redux 2 said...

Lady Jicky-Of course!

Style Redux 2 said...

Kit-Yes, the blues are especially pretty.

Jen of Made By Girl said...

I have two bright turquoise foo dogs, I think i bought them on ebay for like 25 bucks.
Anyway they are gorgeous and i'm thinking about putting them in my new office re-do! :) Great post, thanks!

Jen Ramos
'Cards & Prints You'll Love...'
www.madebygirl.com
madebygirl.blogspot.com

Style Redux 2 said...

Jen-Sound perfect!

Ginabee said...

Love FOO Dogs! was in LA and saw them for $200 each. Came home a week later got large foo dogs with greek key trim on the bottom from Home Goods for $20 each. They have turquoise, white and orange!

Style Redux 2 said...

Ginabee-I saw those last week-a great deal.