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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Saturday, November 30, 2013

the ideal pekingese

From an introductory book on the Pekingese, dated 1934:
* * * 
Her Imperial Majesty, the Dowager Empress of China, is accredited with having said:
"Let the Lion Dog be small; let it wear the swelling cape of dignity around its neck; let it display the billowing standard of pomp above its back.
"Let its face be black; let its forefront be shaggy; let its forehead be straight and low, like unto the brow of an
Imperial harmony boxer.
"Let its eyes be large and luminous; let its ears be set like the sails of a war junk; let its nose be like that of the monkey god of the Hindus.
"Let its forelegs be bent, so that it shall not desire to wander far from or leave the Imperial precincts.
"Let its body be shaped like that of a hunting lion spying for its prey.
"Let its feet be tufted with plentiful hair that its footfalls may be soundless; and for its standard of pomp let it rival the whisk of the Thibetan's yack, which is flourished to protect the Imperial litter from the attacks of flying insects.
"Let it be lively that it may afford entertainment by its gambols; let it be timid in order that it may not involve itself in danger; let it be domestic in) its habits that it may live in amity with the other beasts, fishes, or birds that find protection in the Imperial Palace. And for its colour let it be that of the lion—a golden sable, to be carried in the sleeve of a yellow robe, or the colour of a red bear or a white bear, or striped like a dragon, so that there may be dogs appropriate to every robe in the Imperial wardrobe."

I wish I had room to pop in a bit of the introduction to this book, as it's got a certain comically stilted flavor - the kind that uses Unneccesary Capitalizations as it addresses the Enthusiasts of Today.
Lansdowne, Charmian. Mrs. The Imperial Dog of China, the Pekingese. Los Angeles, Calif.: Wolfer Printing Co., 1934. pp. 8-9

1 comment:

Grant Hayter-Menzies said...

So lovely to see this book featured here. I have a copy from the library of stage and screen star Charlotte Greenwood (1890-1978). Charlotte had a white Peke male acquired in England and dubbed Sir George Winkie in the restaurant of the Ritz Hotel in London by poet Humbert Wolfe. Charlotte inscribed the book as if it were a gift from Winkie, evidently for an occasion that didn't come about, as she kept the book.