TOSHIKANE Japanese Vintage Sterling Painted "Foo Dogs" Post Earrings
Toshikane was a Japanese company from Arita, Japan that fabricated porcelain buttons, jewelry, and other ceramic pieces, dating back to as early as the 1940's. Each Toshikane design has a distinctly Japanese look and feel, incorporating elements such as Asian fans, the 7 Lucky Gods, and exotic bird and flower designs into the work. Usually set in silver, the porcelain pieces are intricately hand painted in a variety of vibrant colors. Because they are no longer fabricated, Toshikane pieces are now a rare find and are highly collectible.
"Foo dogs," also called Chinese guardian lions or Imperial guardian lions, are a common representation of the lion in China. Lion symbolism originated during the Han dynasty (206 BC – AD 220) from Indian culture especially through Buddhist symbolism. Statues of guardian lions have traditionally stood in front of Chinese imperial palaces and tombs, and other important landmarks or buildings and were believed to have powerful mythic protective benefits. The lions are always presented in pairs, a manifestation of yin and yang, the female representing yin and the male yang. The concept subsequently spread to other parts of Asia including, Japan, Korea, and Thailand.
A fantastic pair of Vintage Toshikane earrings from the 1950s era! This charming design is comprised of a pair of matching hand-painted porcelain "Foo dogs" backed with a sterling silver base. Each symbolic lion dog is intricately detailed, displaying a deep emerald green color with metallic gold accents painted along the face and ornate collar. Textured features on the front surface of each represents wavy fur, a raised tail and a decorated bodice. Attached to the opposite side is an earring post and tension back. The earrings have most likely been converted from their original screw-back style posts, which is where the Toshikane hallmark would've been stamped. Although the hallmark is no longer present, we are confident that they are indeed authentic. A fun and whimsical pair of Toshikane earrings, they have excellent detail and would make a special addition to any collection!
Measurements: Each "Foo dog" measures a little less than 7/8" tall, 5/8" wide, and a little less than 1/4" thick.
Condition: The overall condition of the earrings is excellent. Aside from normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the sterling silver setting or to the painted porcelain. The earring posts and backs are secure and in good working condition.