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Japanese Chin


Original Works of art

Group: Toys
Breed Family: Japanese Chin

As with many breeds, the origins of the Japanese Chin are somewhat uncertain, with one theory suggesting that they originated in China. Legend has it that one of the Chinese Emperors gave a pair of them to the Emperor of Japan. Another theory suggests the breed is related to the short-nosed Spaniels of Tibet.

Commodore Perry was also given some Japanese Chin when he entered Japan in 1853. He, in turn, presented some to his sovereign, Queen Victoria. Members of he Royal Family continued to prize these little dogs. In 1895 the Japanese Chin breeders joined with the Pekingese fanciers and formed the Japanese and Pekingese Club. The Japanese Chin Club was registered at The Kennel Club in 1905 and in 1906 it elected Sir Bernard Samuelson as it first president.

Queen Alexandra owned two Japanese Chin, Punch and Facey As they were among her favorites, the dogs traveled widely with her. Writing in The Ladies' Kennel Journal, a contributor noted: "Facey is a pretty dog, but is rather large and slightly undershot. Punch is a better example, being under four pounds in weight. The feeding of the Japs is attended to "at the house " but all other privileged pets are fed by Brunsdon on the same fare as the dogs in the kennels."

The artist Frances Fairman (ca. 1836-1923), herself a member of the Ladies Kennel Association, seems to have made somewhat of a specialty of painting the Japanese Chin, having painted the Chins of Queen Alexandra several times. An artist of considerable merit, she was one of the first dog artists from the turn of the century to have developed a loose, somewhat impressionistic style which was very effective indeed in depicting the coat texture of these little dogs.


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