Dated 1881 this is one of the earliest artworks of the Chow breed in England that I have discovered so far. Welsh / English provincial school oil on canvas of a red Chow Chow standing on a rug in an interior by artist B Griffiths. Signed and dated bottom right B Griffiths. 1881.
I have a very strong feeling this could be the dog named “Chang” owned by The Prince of Wales in the 1880’s. You can see an etching below of Chang. Both dogs exhibit a longer body, similar eyes and ears, the curly coat on the tail etc. A few other chows were in England in 1881 (see below) but none matching up with the body type of this dog. Being the first chow in England to be shown by Royalty it would make sense they would commission a painting of him. As a side note, Chang was reported to have a red tongue. He was a Chinese import (MORE) .
Several Chow Chows were housed in London Zoo in the Wild Dog area and 1865 Queen Victoria was presented with some Chows. But public interest in Chows for breeding and exhibition begun in 1879 when Mr W K Taunton’s black Chow Chow bitch named CHINESE PUZZLE came to England.
It was not until 1887 when the Marchioness of Huntley imported a male dog who she called PERIDOT, that lead to the famous kennels established by Lady Granville Gordon and Lady Faudel Philips. English, circa 1881
This is a sold item at the Hamshere Galery and has been left in the Public Domain for research purposes. Images are available for public use with an acknowledgement to www.hamsheregallery.com