• Fri. Mar 31st, 2023

Queen Victoria’s Dog Was Stolen from Chinese Emperor and Mockingly Called ‘Looty’


Mar 8, 2023

What at first look seems to be an unexceptional dog, really began out its life within the family of the Chinese language emperor earlier than being looted by the English throughout their sacking of the Outdated Summer season Palace in Beijing. The tiny Pekingese was then shipped again to England as a present for Queen Victoria , who flippantly named her Looty.

When Looty arrived in Queen Victoria’s family, she was a uncommon curiosity. Whereas its historical past is a bit of murky, historians consider that Pekingese had been first bred to resemble tiny lions presumably way back to 2,000 years in the past. A breed of toy canine, they had been reserved completely for members of the imperial family, whereas miniature Pekingese had been bred as “sleeve canine” so they might disguise contained in the sleeves of robes.

In accordance with legend, Pekingese canine originated from the romance between a lion and a marmoset monkey who fell in love regardless of their huge distinction in measurement. Related to these tales of sacred origins, some declare that servants of the Chinese language courtroom needed to bow after they handed a Pekingese.

The story of Looty is entwined with the political state of affairs between the British Empire and Imperial China in the course of the Second Opium Struggle, when Anglo-French troops returned to stress China into opening its borders to Western commerce and guarantee management over the profitable commerce in opium.

{Photograph} of Looty the Pekingese in 1865, described by Captain Dunne as “most good little magnificence.” She died at Windsor Fortress in 1872 and was buried in an unmarked grave. ( Public domain )

After the Chinese language Qing Dynasty captured and tortured an Anglo-French delegation, the British retaliated when James Bruce, Earl of Elgin, ordered the destruction and looting of the Outdated Summer season Palace. (By the way, Bruce was the son of the brainchild who ordered the plunder of the Elgin Marbles .) Generally known as Yuanmingyuan, which means “the Backyard of Excellent Brightness,” this sprawling advanced of palaces and gardens was a Chinese language paradisiacal Neverland, stuffed with priceless artworks representing hundreds of years of Chinese language historical past.

Throughout its rampant destruction, remembered by the Chinese language as the last word humiliation, 5 Pekingese canine had been found. One was taken by a British Captain by the identify of John Hart Dunne, who later penned the next letter to Queen Victoria :

“This little canine was discovered by me within the Palace of Yuan-Ming-Yuan close to Pekin on the sixth of October 1860. It’s presupposed to have belonged to both the Empress, or one of many girls of the Imperial Household. It’s a most affectionate and clever little creature – it has at all times been accustomed to being handled as a pet and it was with the hope that it could be regarded upon as such by Her Majesty and the Royal Household that I’ve introduced it from China.”

Looty’s subsequent insensitive naming, and the proliferation of artifacts from the sacking of the Old Summer Palace , have develop into symbolic of brazen British imperialism and colonial looting throughout this period.

High picture: Portrait of Looty the Pekingese lion canine, commissioned by Queen Victoria and painted by Friedrich Wilhelm Keyl. Supply: Public domain

By Cecilia Bogaard

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

A note to our visitors

This website has updated its privacy policy in compliance with changes to European Union data protection law, for all members globally. We’ve also updated our Privacy Policy to give you more information about your rights and responsibilities with respect to your privacy and personal information. Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our updated privacy policy.